Clay is the cultural common denominator.
Taught a child once who hadn't been able to read. At the suggestion of school advisors, the child's Mom enrolled her in pottery classes. Shortly after a few months of taking weekly clay classes, she began reading and quickly caught up to grade level. Pretty incredible to witness both the reading ability and the lifted self-esteem as the student progressed at her ability to create on the pottery wheel with clay as well.
Greetings! I’m so glad to have found this site and World Stoke event.
I’m very new to working with clay; began taking classes about 4 years ago. Because classes are long I feared not being able to complete one as standing or sitting for too long is painful; I live with MS.
My first clay class was 4.5 hours one night a week and I was worried but.... after the second class I was standing the majority of the time hand building ceramic pieces without any pain or discomfort!!! I learned that clay possesses healing properties, thus my constant remedy and ongoing creative process! I now have a fully functional fabulous mud house studio in our backyard! Looking forward to seeing folks at World Stoke 2022!
We've been waiting and waiting for this blog to grow and spark a conversation.
Thank you so much for your comments and intention to attend WorldStoke.
You are welcome here anytime to visit the Penryn Workshop.
Thank you for for spreading the word on this and getting others to respond.
Healing with Clay is about an open forum for all voices to give their opinions and speak their minds.
Long, long, long ago, I was a scared boy, filled with the worries of what might happen, how long it would all take, and when I would finally die. What would and could go wrong, the crushing inevitability of not reaching everyone's expectations, including my own. And then I found clay. That infinitely plastic medium in which nothing can become everything, over and over again. And so, clay showed me that all is possible, all is welcome, and all can change. . .
Nakona ~ You're heartfelt post on healing with clay is beautiful. You are so talented in so many ways, but your writing skills are immense. One of the luckiest days of my life was meeting you.
My ceramics story:
I have Parkinson’s and have had for many years now. I found little joy in life after having to stop working. Shortly afterwards my wife and I discovered The Clay Studio of Missoula (in Montana). I have to admit, I had no interest but my wife and a close friend, who years before was one of four founders of The CSoM kept after me to try working with clay. Finally I went to a class. I was so blessed and continue to be so by the young residents who have taught me so much. The staff encourages me to keep going, they push me to try new and different styles of artistic work. What is the healing part?
Well, when I started working with clay my hands would barely open and close, you could not read my writing because I had little control over the movement of my wrist and arms and as sad as it makes me, even today, it is almost impossible to hold a pen at times.
Now with the help of staff, residents, doctors, medication and the entire ceramics community I have better use of my hand, my balance has improved through PT, movement in and around the studio, as well as out in the community.
I primarily woodfire my work. While it isn’t easy for me to swing an axe, but I can. It isn’t easy for me to load rounds onto the log splitter…but I can sit on my stool that someone made for me and pull that handle all day long and split logs.
Today, I can teach those new to wood firing the fundamentals of how to operate our huge kiln. Best of all, I take a few shifts durning the actual firing encouraging others, teaching if need be, firing and learning myself the ever changing world of woodfire.
Work, what work…ceramics, the ceramics community and all of the residents (past, present and future), staff and friends that have and continue to help and encourage me, I am grateful for you all!
What a great message! You are inspiring. We offer you and a friend a full scholarship to WorldStoke if there is any chance you can make it out to any or all of it. Your participation would be appreciated. Thank you for your uplifting message. Call me, Rodney Mott, if you have any questions 916-663-2815.
Healing With Clay