The pottery is practiced with the aim of realizing objects of art and craft. It also allows you to exercise your creative sense. But even more the contact with clay frees the spirit, unties the body and allows to find a state of relaxation more durable. In periods of confinement, making pottery with the family also helps to reduce general agitation.
We will see in more detail why clay is so essential to our well being and how we can all make the most of these benefits. Indeed it is a creative activity to be favored for the whole family that adapts to the needs and problems of each one.
Pottery as a family can reduce stress
Many artists and art therapists use clay for anti-stress or therapeutic activities with young parents with children, couples, the elderly, people in social isolation. This is not by chance! Clay is a medium known to be both playful, very accessible and to provoke very powerful beneficial effects.
What science says about it
Science has confirmed these claims have proven that the practice of an artistic activity of at least 45 minutes reduces the level of a stress hormone: cortisol. This study even specifies that the levels vary according to the type of activity. Kneading clay relaxes more than assembling collages.
In this study, most patients reported a feeling of relaxation. Some saw their anxiety level decrease within the first five minutes. Others said they were less haunted by distracting thoughts and found themselves able to put things into perspective.
Making pottery to nourish the sense of touch
The sense of touch, also called haptic perception, is THE first mode of communication of every human being. As it is a primary perception, it has a very great strength, it will take over the other senses. The mind will calm down, parasitic thoughts will diminish or even disappear until the participant disconnects from his daily concerns.
This spontaneous process encourages the person to be more attentive to himself and to re-establish a psychological balance (at least for the time of the practice).
Making pottery is accessible to all
Indeed, whether you are alone at home, with your children, with your spouse or an elderly person, in total or partial confinement, you can find with a few anti-stress clay modelling exercises a very precious support.
In my classes students often notice that they are allowed to make mistakes, that there is not so much pressure to succeed. This is less obvious in creative activities such as sewing. Modelling with the hands does not require any pre-requisites. Although there is a lot to learn, it is also an intuitive and timeless practice. Everyone, at any age, can quickly feel capable of creating a small object with a few tips.
Doing pottery with your family to increase your self-esteem
In times of financial hardship, job loss, forced inactivity, isolation, we are particularly sensitive and self-esteem can be affected. Having worked with people who are socially isolated, or facing psychological difficulties that are sometimes chronic, I have found that working with clay leads to a more positive mental discourse. Gradually the person regains confidence in his or her abilities.
If we talk about children, the effect is even more obvious, it is a joy to see them go, then to see how proud they are of their creation, which appeared as if by magic. I have sometimes seen teenagers compare themselves for the sake of performance. But the pleasure comes back very easily, especially if you get them to focus on sensations and a personal challenge.
As far as the elderly are concerned, this brings well-being and can help to soften the effects of certain illnesses, sometimes even to make progress in terms of attention. This can be a relief for them and their caregivers.
Pottery as a family reduces everyday anxiety.
Stress, when the brain sounds the alert of a danger creates physiological reactions that, by renewing themselves, can give rise to anxiety. We then speak of a tendency to create stress, to exaggerate it or to fear it even before the first signs appear.
A modeling session allows you and your child to express daily anxieties in a different way and to live with them, in order to prevent anxiety from setting in. Through practice you discover new creative possibilities without showing talent or experience. As clay reveals its secrets to us through practice, we face the unknown without feeling insecure.
The present moment is experienced differently than in fear or the anxious unknown and we reconnect the imagination to something tangible. In addition, creating objects that live in time and space offers a reminder of soothing moments of sharing, like a small vase that sits on the sideboard.