There. I was to go "there" back in January 2001 when I sought to join a pottery art Co-Op in Fayetteville, NC. I was a well known pottery artist where I lived in Columbus, GA and I was well received since 1997 in the local surrounding area venues to include LaGrange and at the annual Doo-Nanny Outsider Folk Art Festival in Seale, AL. The government job I had there in Columbus, GA shut down and I had no choice but to relocate to Fayetteville, NC in order to remain employed for my family and even had to accept a change to lower grade position in the relocation. Well shucks, "You od-s what you gottta do"!
I discovered that there was a pottery art Co-Op in Downtown Fayetteville upon relocating there and I visited their facility on several occasions, showing the potters my work and even giving help to those who asked me and giving a few pointers to others who wanted to know how I achieved the aspects of my work without the pieces cracking or blowing up in the glaze firing process. I applied for membership in their co-op as I wanted to stay busy in my preferred medium - clay and on the surface I was well received. Along with my sample works I provided for membership consideration, I also included the newspaper article (from the Columbus Ledger Inquirer, the largest newspaper in Columbus, GA) about me and their regrets about my leaving the area to relocate to Fayetteville, NC.
Instead of providing me a full membership, the Board contacted me and told me that they would give me a one year provisional membership because my work is considered "whimsical" as compared to their other potters and artists. Needless to say I was kinda shocked and so were a few of the other potters I hade helped and showed some of my technique. Well I turned down the provisional membership and started the long drive home while wondering what I was going to do because I felt empowered to create when I was around other potters as it was in college (University of Florida) and in the studio at the Britt David Art facility in Columbus GA.
On the way home and in frustration, I said, "Father. What will You have me do with this thing You gave me to understand; - Pottery?" Then all of a sudden I was enveloped in peace and I heard these words in my spirit, "Randy, go home clean out your garage, make it a pottery studio, make pottery the world has never seen before, go to where I send you and give it away to those I will send to your table to hear what I give you to say to them." - Yes, I know His voice and I believe Him.
Arriving home, I opened the garage door and started rearranging the contents on my garage to set up my studio and proceed to go there. My wife Tea (Tea's Chirren) asked me what happened at the Co-Op. I told her what happened and she asked me what I was going to do and what I was doing to the garage. I told that God told me, "Randy, go home clean out your garage, make it a pottery studio, make pottery the world has never seen before, go to where I send you and give it away to those I will send to your table to hear what I give you to say to them." No she didn't freak out because we had been together since 1970 and married since 1978 so she is used to my art-brain Wayward thinking anyway!
She saw that I didn't even flinch but rather kept on working hard and she asked if I was serious and asked how did I know it was God who spoke to me. I say, "Yes and I know His voice and what He told me sounds so foolish by the world's reasoning, it must be God because we can use the money to help us make it." She believed me, I completed the studio, I have been going there since January 2001, and I have not looked back nor have I regretted going it alone to the places where I am sent. I submit to His Hands upon me just as do the clay centers in my hands on my potter's wheel. In this submission, He forms me to be His vessel as He desired even when I was in my mother's womb. He is the Potter; - I am His clay. I create the work He gives me in visions, I write down the words He give me in revelation understanding to write, I also write down the things I see in this world and in the spirit world as He told me to do and I give His word to them there was He sent me to go and bless those He sent to me. Words cannot begin to express the joy, fulfillment and extremely humbleness I feel doing what God has told me to do with the thing He gave me to edify His Good News to others along my race in going there!
Where is there?
There is wherever He leads me and I do follow;
-Me, my clay, my potter's wheel
and all that is in me!
I hope to see you all there.