I had never worked with clay as a medium before, so the prospect of moulding and creating something completely new really excited me.
This plant pot was made with air-drying clay which my friend bought online for around £4; each block of clay can be shared by about 4 people. I chose to make a plant pot out of mine as I have many plants in my room and think they look prettier when they are all in lovely pots.
The process was complicated! Trying to create a shape that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing was difficult, but I think the end result is quite impressive. After leaving the clay to dry I painted on some bright colours and patterns to finish it off and voila.
Despite the slight frustration that came with moulding the pot, the tactile act of pottery making / working with clay was very therapeutic for me. I think it is the process of your mind and physical body ‘synergising’ with the clay as it begins to take shape which evokes this feeling.
In Elisabet Kvarnstrom’s article she explains why pottery can be beneficial for those suffering from depression. She explains that the long process involved with pottery making means that you don’t receive instant gratification from it as you would from Tweeting something, for example. This is known as the ‘effort-driven reward circuit’ which releases a multitude of positive neural effects such as: dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin.
This effort-driven reward circuit is beneficial for the brain as the rise of technology has meant that we as humans seek this instant gratification which feels great for a moment but is only fleeting. Pottery making can help to prolong this happy feeling.