Link Forward’s Wellbeing Arts group harnesses the magic of clay to allow children to be messy and creative. The group provides a safe space run by an experienced facilitator where children can get to grips with big-world feelings whilst making friends, learning a new skill, and having fun.
But what exactly is the magic of clay? I’ve been thinking a lot about why clay has such an impact on each group of children who are introduced to this unique material. Slowly but surely they come out of their shells. I can never quite put my finger on why but I’ve had some thoughts…
Clay is mud, dug from the earth – It is always fun and freeing to get messy and clay provides mess in bucketloads!
Clay is an experience for all of the senses – Sloppy and slimy when wet, crunchy and chalky when it dries. You can make fantastic squelching noises on the wheel, or loud echoing bangs when you hit it with a rolling pin. It even smells unique.
Clay nurtures our imaginations – From mythical creatures to fantastic monsters, delicate flowers to bizarre buildings – nothing is off limits.
Clay boosts your self-esteem – You don’t need to be an expert to create something new. The bowl may not be perfectly round or the duck may not look completely like a duck, but you made it!
Clay is adaptable and forgiving – You can crush it up and roll it back into a bowl, or you can fire it and be left with something permanent that will last for years to come.
Clay can help you to communicate – Whether that is by expressing your feelings through the art that you create, or whether it is just easier to talk about things whilst your hands are busy sculpting.
Clay provides community – We can work together to create art, help each other with ideas, cheer each other on, and get lost together in the make-believe world that our creations exist in. Friendships made in the group bring comfort and confidence.
Some of the group have become talented artists – the creator of the clay dragon above has continued to draw them since the group ended. They are her favourite creature to draw and sculpt. It’s great to see a young person’s skills and enthusiasm grow!
If you’d like to find out more about Link Forward then get in touch with Vicky Wall
tel: 0117 950 3335