I'm afraid I don't have much to go on. I was reading another story where the characters were making pottery and suddenly recalled a scene from a book I read... probably about a decade ago. The character in the scene took a special sort of clay out to try and learn something from it. She shaped it into a bowl first, while the narrative talks about the details of pottery, then collapses the bowl and goes into a trance while her clay tells her the future.

I think there were a group of people who could do this (it wasn't only the main character, though she could, too. In fact, I'm mostly certain in the scene I'm thinking of it's not the main character doing the magic). They're trying to learn about an enemy, I think.

Then the clay explodes. I think the character is injured, but they do get some useful information.

If you have any idea what book this is from, I would really like to know. The scene is stuck in my head, but it's not expanding into anything.

Some further details, after reading the guides: The author specifies that the character taps her foot on the bottom of the pottery wheel to start it spinning. I think she does it again, either to keep it going or bump it up a notch, before starting the fortune-telling part of it. I think the first potter was an older woman. The way the pottery is described is very soothing and zen. She talks about the bowl taking shape and growing smoothly under her hands. After making the bowl she sort of... basks in the feel of the bowl under her hands for a moment, then presses in and collapses it from one side, forming a shapeless lump that became the forms for the fortune-telling.

  • Welcome to the site! Great start. Take a look at this guide to help jog your memory and see if you can edit in any more details. – amflare Jul 28 '17 at 17:21

I don't remember a scene with pottery specifically, but this sounds similar to the main conceit of Tamora Pierce's Circle Universe series, where the main characters all learn of their special magical abilities to manipulate specific substance - one has special abilities related to weather, another to plants, a third to anything relating to knots/threads/weaving, etc. There was a fourth main character, but I don't remember his/her skill.

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    Blacksmithing/metal is Daja. But yes, no pottery. – FuzzyBoots Jul 28 '17 at 22:18
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    Since I didn't read all of the books in the series, I was thinking that maybe there could have been a non-main character introduced at some point who had magical skills associated with pottery. – magerber Jul 28 '17 at 22:24
  • Sandry, Tris, Daja, and Briar. I've been a fan of Tamora Pierce since reading the Lioness Rampant quartet more than a dozen years ago. I appreciate the thought, but I'm almost certain that's not it. I recall being distinctly drawn to the depiction of pottery, and it wasn't during a time period when I would have read either The Magic Circle or The Circle Opens. – Dawn Jul 29 '17 at 17:31

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