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Spirit’s Ceramic Signature – Craig Gibsone


December 22, 2016 By Thomas Miller
Ceramic wood by Craig Gibsone

Craig’s ceramic clay is singing.

A few months ago, community elder Craig Gibsone pulled me aside with a customary look of radiant joy on his face. “I’m working on something,” he said, glowing, “I’m thinking of putting it in the sanctuaries, and I think you should come and see it.”

He explained later, during an open house energy-sharing (his explanation that it couldn’t really be called a ‘viewing’ makes perfect sense to me) for a series of ceramic pieces, that he had been working on them since the summer, letting an essence speak to him.

He told me the story of how they came to be: driving his kids to the Steiner school one day, he found an oak stump in the road the schoolchildren had rolled there. He fell in love with the thing’s shape and heft at once, put it in his car and took it home. Eventually he pressed a piece of clay onto the top where it had been sliced in half, and a form emerged: a kind of humanoid or cross shape, with rays and concentric circles radiating out from it. As he pressed more pieces on, he told me, he became aware of a consciousness calling out to him from the clay.

I get the impression that making these things was an inward journey for him. He spoke of feeling a presence that was connected with nature, and connected with that power that calls human beings into the future, and with the angelic kingdoms. He spoke of the mystery that sang to him in the wood, clay and kiln bricks as he worked, and of how much he learned through that contact.

In his house, looking at the forms, what emerges for me is something like a human form in the centre, dancing and radiant. It emits rays and concentric rings. The image is absolutely simple and also minutely detailed, with thousands of clefts and notches from the tree’s growth rings and medullary rays. Out of its absolute ordinariness (a tree stump) it was depicting (to my eye) a transformed human being, moving in power, light and magnetic love.

Craig's hand-made kiln

Craig’s hand-made kiln

Meditation stool

Meditation stool

Ceramic Wood by Craig Gibsone

Craig with one of his works

It did not surprise me very much when he said that he felt that they were coming at the right time, with the right message. As soon as he said it, it seemed self-evident. It seems to me that right now, as the Foundation is reviewing where it has been and doing work to help new directions emerge, the spirit that called this centre into being is singing the primal note again, to remind us of our evolutionary goal: human beings standing (Craig’s figures actually seem to be dancing more than standing) in their divine identity, radiating love, the light of presence and understanding, and power to influence our world for the good.

Craig commented when I went to get photos for this post that when people ask him how much has changed, he always thinks that, although the forms of organisation and governance come and go, the essence of the place remains the same: the spirit that sang to the founders and led them from their relatively ordinary lives into something beyond what seemed possible has been singing all along.