There’s something about clay; It moulds, forms, and flows with your touch…or it fights back.
I have looked at the benefits of using clay to aid in emotional healing and self-expression. Its material properties allow us to form and connect with our inner psyche through our hands and touch. It helps us to realise feelings we cannot verbalise or perhaps subconsciously suppress. Making with clay also allows us to push through failure. Ceramics takes patience, time, and skill. Clay, however, is a non-threatening material. It invites us to connect with it.
I have made two magazines; Touch & Clay VOL 1 which comprises the research I undertook for this year long project. It includes topics such as the mind/ body connection, clay therapy, meditation, Eco-therapy and somatic experiences as well as others. I identified three key elements of the act of making which can help with self-expression and emotional healing. This is Touch, Process & Environment. Seen in my work as the physicality of making and direct connection with the clay, the journey of working within the craft of ceramics and lastly connecting with the local Sussex landscape; and thus the Earth around us.
Touch & Clay Volume 2 documents my making process, based of my research from VOL 1 such as experimenting with local clay, the craft of throwing, and making my own ash glazes. These can be found at the bottom of this page in Portfolio PDF 1 & Supporting PDF 2.
My resolved objects are tableware, with the influence of the Hygge and Mingei movement, as ceramics that indicate connection and interaction with ourselves and others. I dug my own wild clay and used local wood ash for my glazes, making the materials as important as the final pieces. My cascading rock motif serves as a reminder of this journey.
I believe that making allows you to become present, grounded and allows us to manifest the world within us. It gives shape our feelings, and every step I took in this journey, from digging to making fired tableware, was just as important as the process before, and the process’s to come after. I personally found so much peace and joy exploring the local environment and then creating my own work in the beautiful ceramic studio on campus. I feel very passionately about how important it is for all of us to express ourselves creatively, especially through the medium of clay. I’m excited to share my research and what I’ve made with you… I invite you to get stuck in!