By REA WATERS
These words are to a song entitled “The Potters Hand.” They are also words of meaning to LeiAnn Waters as she has learned to express herself through clay. LeiAnn was introduced to clay at an early age while I was attending Mississippi College studying English education and acquired an emphasis in Art.
Mr. Lewis Walsh was the ceramic instructor then, and he took the time to show LeiAnn how to take a ball of clay and begin the journey of creating. This experience, at the age of seven, planted a seed within her. Even though it was tucked away for many years, the seed of being a potter never died. Many years later the family gave LeiAnn a potter’s wheel for Christmas. It wasn’t used much at that time, but it helped open the desire to just “start.”
LeiAnn has said the hardest step to doing most things is to just start, and then you grow from there. So she started one Christmas with making some ornaments for her friends. This was around 2000, and she hasn’t looked back. Her studio is in her horse barn—a place she loves to be. For LeiAnn, being an artist involves a peaceful mind, which helps develop a creative mind.
Her surroundings all play a huge part of this. Deep in the country is more like a little bit of heaven to her. She embraces nature and the beauty of old wood, rustic décor, and her love for animals—all of which surround her. She balances her work by riding her horses with friends. “Riding feeds my soul and my creativity comes to me when on the back of a horse.” This plays a large part of the peaceful mind for her.
As time goes by, LeiAnn’s passion for clay grows more each day. She says, “Being a potter has blessed my life in ways I would have never imagined. It has let me meet amazing people and develop friendships that will last a lifetime. I have been asked to create pieces for different reasons. It may be a piece in memory of a child, for a beloved mother or father that has passed, for someone fighting for their life with cancer, for someone going through a divorce or a trying time, or even a family pet that has passed away.”
“It’s not about LA Pottery when I say these things, but it’s about God taking my hands and molding a piece of clay into something that may comfort someone,” LeiAnn shares. “One of my favorite pieces to make is called a ‘slab.’ I take a flat piece of clay and write inspirational words or Scripture. I feel if you surround yourself with reminders that we really aren’t alone, and God does love us, it helps get through the bad days. Life is not always the way we want it to be or think it should be, but it’s how we press on and never give up that matters. I know from my own personal challenges how easy it would be to give up at times, but then I press on,” explains LeiAnn. “Surround yourself with good and happy things and with positive people. I’m so blessed to have a loving family and amazing friends to surround myself with. I thank God for that every day.”
LeiAnn has chosen to keep her business a one-person operation. Each piece is unique and no two pieces are ever the same. She says, “I feel this is the way God made each of us.” She loves knowing that when she signs her name on a finished piece, that she did it from start to finish. Her work has spread over many states and even overseas. She considers this an honor and it humbles her.
She stays true to who she is and the simplicity of country living. “I feel God has given us the gift of living each morning He lets us wake up to another day. Life is often taken for granted and it shouldn’t be. Several years ago my pastor said that when we say our prayers, we tend to always ask for things, ask for healing, ask for courage, ask for forgiveness.” LeiAnn remembers, “He encouraged us to ‘thank Him’ as well, and it would open our eyes to so many things. Today’s world is in the fast lane and full of technology, all of which is important—but I have found that if you find a little time each day to slow down and to be alone with God, it will give you a peaceful mind. It can give you the things money doesn’t buy.”
LeiAnn loves the peace and quiet of the county, but she also has a unique vitality for life! She goes full force as each day unfolds—balancing work, pottery, family, and fun.
If you would like to contact LeiAnn, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rea Waters, mother to Lei Ann is the inspirational angel of Lei Ann’s pottery.