In 2019, members of Changes Health & Wellbeing in Stoke-on-Trent worked with Sarah Fraser, a British Ceramics Biennial (BCB) Associate Artist, to explore creativity, wellbeing and clay during 6 hands-on workshops taking place at Changes and in the BCB’s studio at Spode Works.The project was initiated by Blythe Taylor, a Stoke-on-Trent based filmmaker and member of Changes, a user-led mental health organisation and unique recovery service for those in mental distress. Responding to Blythe’s suggestion, the BCB Engagement team worked in partnership with Changes to plan a project that would create space for people to find their own connections between their mental health journey and clay.
“Anything creative is exciting but also calming and interesting. It fascinates me that this one substance can make anything. It can be sculpted. It can be useful. Everyone can make something. The array of stuff is magnificent – architectural, organic…” Bridget, Changes volunteer
This film, made by Blythe Taylor, gives her insights into the weekly sessions. Her sensitive filming gives a personal view into people’s experimentation of clay in all its states – liquid, wet and dry. Facilitated by Blythe’s own friendship with the group, we see both the peace that can be found in process and the fun of free exploration with materials.
The Clay Works project is supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation and Arts Council England.