How better to escape the demands of online technology than to switch off one part of the brain and turn towards another creative side of our being?
In a study published in Art Therapy last year, researchers found that levels of cortisol (the body’s stress hormone) decreased in 75% of participants who had engaged in artistic production. Research into practice in the areas of health and social care is ongoing but among the many benefits discovered, the study showed that working with clay promoted speedy recovery after illness; helped alleviate anxiety, depression, and stress; and ultimately reduced spending on health and social services.
Making is good for your mental health
Pottery engages the ‘effort-driven reward circuit’, which provides meaningful relief from depression on a neurochemical level. As educator Jenni Lukasiewicz puts it: ‘You put clay on the wheel. It gives you a little fight, and you get past it, and there is this object.’ That ‘little fight’, or the resistance the clay gives back, is part of what gives the practice power, and what can alter the brain’s natural pathways, helping alleviate symptoms of depression.
I offer weekly classes, mornings 10-1230 but can be flexible on days/times depending on the group. Each class is open to 2 students to allow plenty of individual attention. I offer demonstrations and tuition in all the basic building skills: coiling, slabbing, press moulding and of course throwing, but am more than happy to leave you to explore the clay on your own and guide you when you seek advice.
We can agree a more detailed lesson plan at the start of lessons, and aim to make something which you would personally enjoy making.
A good library of books on ceramics is available, which students are welcome to borrow between classes.
The cost is £35 for 2.5 hours. This would be payable in advance per 4-5 lessons and includes all materials and firings.
If you are unable to attend a particular class, where possible, an alternative date will be arranged.
There will also be the opportunity to participate in workshop sessions on alternative firing techniques, including saggar, raku and smoke firing.
TASTER SESSIONS - I also offer taster sessions of 2.5 hours. Individually or in pairs, taster classes will introduce beginners to throwing a pot on the wheel. Cost is £65 per person.
GIFT VOUCHERS AVAILABLE.
After a demonstration, you will learn the very basics of throwing a pot on the wheel. This will include weighing and preparing balls of clay before you start, then the basics of the wheel - from centering your clay, pulling, shaping and working with your tools, beginning to learn the techniques of throwing cylinders. Plenty of help and guidance is available throughout. Finished pots included in the price will be fired, glazed and delivered/collected within approx 8 weeks.
If you are interested in having a chat about classes, taster sessions or gift vouchers, please call Alison on 07809446122 or email me at