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Doug Creamer: Creative trek


We took our annual trip to Asheville last week. I wasn’t expecting to see any fall colors, but we did see some up in the highest mountains. There were just a few trees up close that had color. I noticed up there what I was noticing around here, many trees are losing their leaves without changing color at all. I think that is a result of all the dry weather.

We picked a beautiful sunny day and I still enjoyed seeing the mountains. I can understand why so many people want to live in Asheville. It is so beautiful… fall colors or not.

Our trip to Asheville was to attend the annual Southern Highland’s Craft Guild show. This is not your grandma’s craft show; these artisans are juried members of the guild who create fine crafts. We both like to walk through the show and see all the beautiful creations.

My wife is drawn to the jewelry and specifically to one designer who uses glass beads. Her creations, including necklaces and earrings, are all unique. She has been doing her craft for many years. While my wife looks at all her beautiful creations, I enjoy talking to the artist. I like to talk with her about the marketing of her products (surprise, since I taught marketing for 34 years.)

I like the pottery and the woodworking. The woodworking reminds me of my friend from Sparta, whose work sits around me here at my computer. I can’t say that I like one piece better than another because each one is unique. I will admit that I am partial to the one we made together. He taught me how to use the lathe and we worked on a bowl one day when I was up in his shop. He finished the bowl after I went home and then mailed it to me with a note that says, “Sometimes the value of an object can be determined by its uniqueness.” He signed both our names and it has been on my desk for ten years.

I also like to look at the pottery. My favorite potter no longer displays at this show. I have a number of her pieces and I miss seeing her each year. I have several of her large mugs and drink my tea from one of them each week. So I decided that I would try to find another artist whose work spoke to me this year.

I found one who had something unique, but it was only coffee-mug size. I looked at his work several times while I was there but decided not to buy. I found another artist who had a very tall mug. I asked if they were for drinking and she said yes, holding up hers. She said she was an iced tea drinker and liked a tall mug. She had two designs and both were in colors that I like. I held both in my hands for a while.

The one that ultimately won had a vine with leaves growing along the side. It is totally unique and I don’t have anything like it. I told the potter that I look for something that speaks to me. She said she liked watching me as I connected with her art. I don’t believe in positive energy, but I do believe that being around creative people and their created things can spur one onto creativity. When artists exercise their creative gifts, they are allowing His creative Spirit to work in and through them.

When God, our Creator, created each one of us, He made us unique. There is no one exactly like you out there in the world. When He made you, He endowed you with a unique combination of talents, skills, and abilities. Now He wants to see what you are going to do with what you have received. When you use these gifts from God, you reflect His creativity. I told the potter I bought the mug from that I couldn’t throw pottery like her. I don’t have the skills. I create with words. That’s how I reflect my Father’s creativity.

I want to encourage you to explore the gifts God has placed in you. Some people are great with numbers, others with words, and still others using their hands to create things. Others have gifts to repair things, and still others the gift to manage people. God gave you special abilities; how are you using those gifts to honor Him? God is powerfully creative and when we exercise the gifts He gave us, we are being like our Father in Heaven.


Contact Doug at doug@dougcreamer.com

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