Pottery has been found in the UK dating back to the Neolithic period, whilst our ancestors used pots as mainly functional cooking, carrying then storage vessels The Greeks were credited with turning pottery into an art form.
For 2500 years, we have been moulding, firing and decorating ceramics.
But now, the creation of ceramics has been credited with the ability to combat depression.
A new study, devised by Hong Kong-based art psychotherapist Joshua K.M. Nan measured the effects of clay art therapy on adults with depression, and the results were fascinating.
Their published findings suggest that creating objects out of clay can help adults with depression to improve mood, decision-making, and motivation.
Perhaps it’s a feeling of holding a new creation in your hands, or the ability to release your feelings within a piece of art. There is no mistaking the positive outcome that working with ceramics has on mental health, and this should be celebrated and utilised.
Mint Creative Studio, new to Newton Abbot, has recently opened its doors providing a relaxing ‘at home’ creative space for ceramic work and offering workshops in other art forms including Oil Painting, Sketching and Stained Glass. Attendees have commented ““Such a fun, laid back, enjoyable experience and a great way to get creative and relax!” and “Creative Energy really does feel different and healthy!”
The owner Pam Neaves states “I wanted to create the perfect creative studio space for myself, somewhere that feels comfortable and welcoming with an evening pottery session for people to enjoy the space too. I loved other local artists popping in and it felt obvious that other creative workshops would work well in the space too.
The fact that this has encouraged more and people to ‘Have a go’ at Pottery and other art forms is wonderful and the feedback has been amazing”
‘Social prescribing’, a newly coined term, has been introduced to many areas and the use of clay art therapy could be used to support those with mental health issues.
The malleability of clay and the physicality required to create pieces lends itself particularly well, turning depressive thoughts into positive emotions. The process of moulding and firing to glazing sees a journey from grey clay to an article of beauty.
There is a lot that should be said for the use of art techniques in the darkness of depression.