With past experience in teaching ceramics and working with people with disabilities I was pleased to be invited by the school, in May of last year, to put forward a proposal to take part in a Kreattiv funded project. After the proposal was accepted and a newly refurbished, well equipped pottery room organised, classes began in November last year. It was agreed that I would be working with the lower ability students on one day of the week, giving two one hour sessions.
To date I have taught 24 classes and feel very rewarded by the accomplishments of the students. The participation of each has increased ever week as they have become familiar and confident with the clay. We see them carrying out many small and even large tasks by themselves and the creations they produce are becoming more and more their own pieces of work. I have insisted that the items produced need not be beautiful or perfect, instead we are aiming for the work to be a means of self-expression. The LSAs, many of whom had also not worked with clay, are now greatly contributing to the students’ freedom to work under their own steam and in their own way.
Clay is a very tactile, versatile medium and I think it is offering those attending classes a chance to explore the sense of touch and by learning and using a variety of techniques, many of which are transferable to other areas of life, they are making a permanent reminder of that experience.