Clay Sculpture with Newcastle College
I did the clay sculpture session at Newcastle college today and it was great fun! There were about 20 students who took part and not only were they really open and engaged with the session, I thought they all made some really great sculptures and bowls.
I applied to run this afternoon workshop as part of a 12 week programme that Newcastle college were offering to their students in order to help them to learn a variety of different, positive coping mechanisms for mental health issues. My workshop was week two, ‘using art to relieve stress, anxiety and depression’.
When planning the session beforehand I made sure that I was going to be able to keep the atmosphere light and safe feeling. I started by introducing myself and briefly talking about my experience working as a community artist then I invited everyone to open up a kit that I’d assembled for each of them. It was a simple kit of clay sculpting tools that you’d find around the home (plastic cutlery, bowls etc) and some air dry clay. I then showed the group some simple clay sculpting techniques including how to knead and warm the clay in your hands before using it. As soon as the group had something to do with their hands and somewhere comfortable to look the session became a lot more relaxed. The group then felt a lot more receptive, so I started to talk more about other artforms that can be used, existing art and health groups that I knew of and we got some really great conversations going and the group got to know each other a lot better, all while creating lovely forms and creatures in the clay.