Humans of NGU: Elizabeth Kirkland

Morgan McNorrill, contributing writer

Elizabeth Kirkland is an art major. She stays up many late nights finishing charcoal drawings or brushing on final details for a print the next day.

While working, the sounds of Middle Earth or swashbuckling movements from “Pirates of the Caribbean” are usually guiding her hand. Scrolling through her playlists, the most common genre found is movie soundtracks—Kirkland’s music of choice.  The music has been the same since her start at North Greenville, but her medium of art has moved from paper to wheel.

This year, Kirkland began taking ceramics classes. While pottery is a new and challenging art form for her, it has proven to shape her spiritual perspective. Though the movie soundtracks still play through her speakers, a particular biblical metaphor goes through her mind as well: God’s children are clay and He is the potter.        

Taking on ceramics was a big leap for Kirkland, who is used to holding tools like a pencil or a brush in her hand. Now the tools are her hands. To construct pottery, Kirkland cuts clay from the block, beats it and throws it on the potter’s wheel. While on the wheel, she has to constantly re-center the clay to maintain its form.

Through making pottery herself, the biblical metaphor of the potter and the clay have taken on a whole new meaning to Kirkland. She realized the accuracy of comparison and has come to ask herself, “Am I malleable clay?”

Ceramics is out of Kirkland’s comfort zone. Though she says that her hands are not perfect in forming the clay on her wheel, she knows that God’s hands are perfect in forming His children. Kirkland has seen each piece of her pottery differ from what she originally planned, but she holds to her faith that God sees each of His children through to exactly who He plans them to be.