Rita Seif has lived and taught in the St. Louis area most of her life. She is now enjoying the fruits of retirement doing volunteer work, gardening, reading mystery stories, and of course, pottery. Her latest adventure is learning to throw pots on the wheel.

The wonderful privilege of working with clay has been hers for the past few years. This journey had its beginnings as “summer therapy” for Seif, as a respite from the rigors of teaching and working with young, primary-aged children. It was her time to “play,” to be free, creative and irresponsible, just as the children who were before her daily.

Now, as the summers have progressed, it has been interesting to observe her evolution: how playing with the clay has grown into “praying” with the clay. Because the clay is of the earth, it is developing within Seif an awareness of the sacredness and beauty of Mother Earth. It has formed a sense of fellowship and stewardship that each and every one of us share with life. The clay has become Seif’s voice to sing praise for the marvels of Creation.

Seif’s works are named Mary’s Gift in honor and memory of her deceased sister, Mary Mohrmann. It was because of her sister that Seif was led to be with and influenced by eco-spiritualists, those who reverence and proclaim the sacredness of all life.