“He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings” (Psalm 40:2).
I began making pottery at the age of ten when my mother, Alice (always my greatest influence and encourager), took me to a ceramics studio near our home on Long Island. She let me set up my first wheel in the kitchen (without a splash pan), and my dad helped me build a gas kiln in the backyard.
Throughout high school, I sold my ware in many stores. In 1971, after attending the New York School of Ceramics at Alfred University with a major in ceramic art and design, I married my high school sweetheart. The business was incorporated as Beaumont Heritage Pottery, and we specialized in authentic reproduction salt-glazed stoneware.
In 1973, my wife and I accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. Since that time—even in the darkest times—each pot I have made is signed with the Cross, my initials, and the year. We moved to New Hampshire where I became the resident potter at the Strawbery Banke Museum. The pottery continued to grow, and we moved into York, Maine, where the business thrived. During that time, we had two beautiful daughters, Natalie and Leah. We were active in a local nondenominational church, working with youth ministry and attending Bible college classes. I had it all.
Then, in 1989, a series of bad decisions caused me to turn down a road that took me away from God. I lost my company, my home, and my walk with God. I became the “prodigal dad”–desperate, having no fellowship and, what seemed like, no place to turn. I know, now, that God still held me in His hand.
In 1998, virtually homeless and in debt, my daughters encouraged me to turn to God and let Him run my life again. I hitchhiked out of the mountains of North Carolina with one set of clothes and enough money for a train ticket to Baltimore. My daughter Natalie and her husband, Steve, met me there on the Fourth of July (Independence Day!).
Since that time, God has fulfilled the promise in Joel 2:25-26, which says, “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten …. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.”
God has blessed every aspect of my life. Within three months I was back in business as G. Beaumont Pottery, Inc. I married Janet, and before long we took up residence in our current location in Phoenix, Maryland. We have many true friends, a solid business, and a desire to know God more deeply and to serve Him daily.
Today, in each piece of pottery, you see the fruit of God’s work. Indeed, He is the Potter, and we are the clay.