Before I started making pottery, I had the idea that you had to make a perfect pot. Over time I have come to realize there is no such thing as a perfect pot. There is a relationship between the potter and the clay, and the clay has a mind of its own. You can shape it and bend it to a certain extent. But if you try to mold the clay in a way it doesn’t want to go, it will end up in your lap. [laughs] Pottery is a good teacher. It teaches you patience and how to get centered and not think about anything but doing pottery. If you start thinking about something else, you’ll end up with the clay flying across the room. It just keeps me in the moment. It took me years and years to learn that you don’t try to create a certain number of pots in a given period of time. You just have to concentrate on what you’re doing right now and hope that you get something that somebody will like. A lot of times I will work on a pot that I don’t think is all that good, but then somebody comes by the table and really enjoys it and pays money for it. Evidently, somebody liked it. [smiles]


Alice Waua Mwololo

My passion is making baskets out of beads and jewelry. I also make rosaries. I work from my house. I cannot afford to rent a shop. My clients come to the house to buy what they want. However, during the day, I hawk my wares around the area I live in. People love beaded jewelry,…


María Dolores de Guevara Ribadas

My parents would make everything stretch like a piece of gum. I remember my parents having only bread soup for dinner from the leftover ration bread. Even in this situation, my mother would share with an old lady who often came to beg. Despite what this might look like, there was always happiness at home.…


Carlos E. Obando

I grew up without a dad. We went through a lot with my parents’ divorce. When I came to the United States, I was bleeding all over the place. But I didn’t want to recognize it. It was very easy for me to love somebody, but it was extremely difficult to be loved by somebody.…


Andrea Mendoza Chiviliú

I create traditional fabrics that I sell to tourists who visit the town I live in. My mother taught me how to work with fabrics. She used to tell me I should learn to work so that I could cover the family expenses when I got married. My work did help my husband and me…


Kerry Egan

Six years ago, I met Jim. I was his hospice chaplain. At our first meeting, he told me he had a message to get out to thousands of people. ‘I know what it feels like when the Holy Spirit has a job for me,’ he said. ‘I’ve got to get a message out, but how…


Rev. Patrick Render, CSV

After 25 years in the priesthood, Fr. Patrick Render was given time for a sabbatical to discern the future direction for his life. He shares some of the wisdom he gained during that time.