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Can playing with clay aid recovery?

Date published: 29 Apr 2014

Posted by: Joe Pick

Work produced in Clay Transformations workshop

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The Clay Transformations project, based at the University of Nottingham, is trying to find out if working with clay can support the recovery of people with mental health issues.

In weekly workshops, held at City Arts, a group including mental health service users, health professionals & artists, have been meeting to play with clay.   Working with artist Stephen Jon, they’ve been encouraged to explore the feel, texture and tactility of the material.

Throughout the sessions the group have been taking part in informal discussions about their emotional response to the work, as well as being interviewed in depth for the university’s research. You can follow what been going on, and find out lots more, on the project’s website.

The photos in this gallery are from the sessions led by Stephen. The group focused on the human face as a form, each molding the clay to realise their unique creative vision.  You can see the results above.

For the next set of sessions, ceramicist Sandy Bywater will offer a different approach to working with clay. The group will begin to look at creating permanent ceramic works, using a potter’s wheel and coloured slips.