The ReCast project combines creativity, addiction recovery and clay. ReCast is a collaboration with Stoke Recovery Service.

Since 2017, members of Stoke Recovery Service have taken part in weekly clay workshops with British Ceramics Biennial (BCB) artists. Twice a year, the BCB’s studio at Spode Works hosts a ReCast artist residency – the group spends a week developing ideas and extending skills in making ceramics. Work made during this time is shared at public events and exhibitions.

ReCast is supported by The Rayne Foundation, Arts Council England and Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

A new model

Covid-19 was a catalyst for Vicky Lomas (Service Manager) and Joanne Mills (BCB Resident Artist) to re-design the project’s model:

  • A 12-week scheme of work draws out the parallels between ceramic processes and recovery journeys.
  • Sessions are co-facilitated – Joanne leads the creativity activity whilst Vicky supports wellbeing and facilitates reflection.
  • The project has become embedded into the service as a “Creative Recovery” pathway offered to all clients.

What difference does ReCast make?

During weekly workshops, people enjoy the social aspect of the group and experience therapeutic benefits from hands on activity with clay. Trying new things and making work that you’re proud of also increases confidence and self-worth.

“You can evolve. Every time you come, you’re doing something different. You’re thinking different as well.” – Wayne, ReCast participant

Over time, people make their own connections between ceramic processes and their recovery journeys.

“The opportunity to develop a project to enable the client to be creative and also develop a deeper understanding and skill for their own recovery has made an outstanding impact on their overall wellbeing.” – Vicky Lomas, Service Manager

In our own words

To hear directly from Daz, Warren and Joanne, listen to the Creativity and Connection podcast created by the Up Men.

Could this work for you?

Collaborations between arts organisations and recovery services have many benefits. We are interested in sharing what works well, and working in new settings. Contact our Development Manager Kat Evans for an informal chat.


We are working with Dena Bagi, a PhD student at the University of Sunderland. Dena’s research explores how and why an engagement with clay, in informal learning settings, may impact the addiction recovery process. Her research is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council UK

We love collaborating with researchers to better understand how our work brings about change. Get in touch with our Kat Evans, if you’d like to know more.

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