Pottery, pottery, potty old pottery. So what’s the deal with pottery? Been around for a long time right! It has been around since the ancient people roamed the earth and is one of the oldest human inventions. The practice of pottery has developed alongside civilization with the earliest ceramic objects dated as far back as 29,000 BC.
There are some interesting health benefits that come with working with your hands to create things, and for pottery there are quite a few.
- Pottery enables for improvements in flow and spontaneity, provides an outlet for grief, and helps you with self-identification and self-expression, bolstering confidence and self-esteem.
- Pottery allows you to escape the worries of life and shift your focus toward your creation. During the process, outside influences don’t affect your work so you dedicate your time to your creation. Being able to fully focus something helps the mind relax and expand, which will help you focus in other areas of life as well.
- Pottery helps you to express your creativity, which is essentially to expand who we are and how we connect to ourselves and the environment.
- Our hands are an outlet for creativity, the sense of touch is of high importance. A lot of focus is required while you’re making pottery, therefore outside distractions are reduced and no longer stress you out.
- The movement of making pottery is gentle yet strengthening to the hands, wrists, and arms. This can be beneficial to those prone to arthritis in the hands, as it promotes joint movement and dexterity.
As ever, a birthday was coming round and you could hear the murmurings in the weeks before. “What is he into these days?”, “Have you thought about what to get him for his birthday”. Well, this time round the question of what to get him for his birthday was easily answered. A pottery class.
Just around the corner is a lovely little drop-in pottery café, serving coffee and tea (obvs), cakes, beer and lots of other little treats. This is where this pottery throwdown was going to go down.
Stage one, the imagination round. Given a piece of clay and a load of tools, things like shape cutters, letter cutters, exotic spatulas, and other interesting, unnameable crafting tools create something amazing. This is where the creative juices really get going and you can make whatever you like.
This particular café was full this evening, and everyone was laughing and joking. The average age was probably 45 and the air was thick with creative combativeness. We could all have been 6 year olds in there and everyone was trying to hide their excited smirks as they took their seats at the table.
Holding a can of beer in one hand and a lump of clay in the other, it was as plain as day. A beer holder is what brought these things together and that’s exactly what this particular lump of clay was to become.
2 hours later (yep, it takes a while to get things just right) the clay had been transformed into a beer holder. Using the bottom of a can of beer as a template, it was used to create the perfect mould for the centre, then it was just a case of finding a circle cutter and adding a simple message around the outside. Absolutely brilliant!
Stage two was a go on the potting wheel, with a local instructor. Really good fun getting your hands in there and working that clay. Slightly arousing too, which was weird. Anyway, the balls of clay were transformed, one into a cereal bowl and the other into a flower pot (with some proper instruction of course, you cannot ‘just do this’).
The next stage was a revisit a few days later to add a bit of colour and the final firing.