[Türkçe çeviri için yorum bölümüne bkz.]
In this post, we share an example of ‘similitude’ between a Winterthur painted tile and Emblem XV from Michael Maier’s ‘Atalanta Fugiens’. Why? Because the potter is the emblem of the alchemist. The explanation lies in the discourse of Emblem XV.
Motto: ‘Let the work of the Potter, consisting of dryness and moisture, instruct you.’
‘As this terrestrial Orb is made into one Round Body by a complication of Earth and Water, so likewise the Potter’s work seems to be compounded of the same particular Elements; that is, the Dry and the Moist, so that one may temper the other. For if the Earth should be without Water and no Ocean, Sea, Lake, River or Fountain should be near it, the earth could bring forth nothing of itself but must perpetually remain unfruitful. So if water should not be received into the cavities of the Earth but stand round about it, it would easily cover the whole face of it and so it would remain uninhabitable. But one entering amicably into the other, and Water moderating the dryness of the Earth and Earth the moisture of the Water, by a mutual commixture the Fruitfulness and advantages of both elements do very speedily appear.
In like manner, the Potter mixes Clay with Water, and that so he may make the masse tractable which he shapes upon his wheel, and he sets it in warm Air so it may dry leisurely. Then he adds the Violence of Fire, that his vessels may be well hardened and condensed into a durable Stone, which can resist both Water and Fire. So the Philosophers say we must proceed in the natural work, and they therefore set the Potter before us as an example; for it is certain as to the dry and moist, that is the earth and water, that they have a very great Affinity. However, there is also no doubt they have many differences in their way of Coction and in the matter and form of the Elements that are to be compounded. For the Potter’s Vessels have a Form that is artificial, but the Philosophic Tincture has one that is altogether Natural and so much Nobler than Theirs, as also the matter of it is more excellent than theirs. Each of them is indeed the Work of Earth, but there is nothing said to be in the Philosophical, which hath not ascended and attained to the Heaven of Air, whereas in the other a thick and feculent Earth is predominant. The effect of both is a Stone- this a Common, that a Philosophical one.’
Source: Extract from Michael Maier’s
‘Atalanta Fugiens’, Emblem XV.
Reference English translation:
The De Jong Edition
Michael Maier here
Above Pictures source
and more about the Winterthur kiln and tiles
at this very informative and interesting site here