Why we love the craft
It’s good for your mental health
It 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.
There are more places than ever to learn
Membership studios are cropping up all over the place from Turning Earth, Kiln Rooms and Crown Pottery all in London to Clay Studio Manchester and Glasgow Ceramics Studio.
It is so satisfying to watch
From the BBC’s Potter’s Wheel interlude film of the 50s to the recent Great British Pottery Throw Down and that scene in Ghost -people love watching pots being thrown – and now potters like Florian Gadsby and Jon Almeda are delighting millions with their Instagram feeds.
You don’t need lots of money to start making
Woman’s Hour Craft Prize winner Phoebe Cummings started working with raw clay after graduating with no money so she could test out ideas and then re-use her clay. You can practice your skills with play doh, clay or air dry clay. So if you fancy having a go – try this lovely Sam McAndrew pinch pot tutorial. But if you do want to further your skills…