Belinda has been teaching Pottery and art therapy at the New Life since she arrived three months ago. She is a ceramic artist based in partly in Amsterdam, and partly Singapore. Belinda works in her own ceramic studio designing and creating hand built porcelain and stoneware pieces which tell ambiguous snipets of stories from her life.
Using recycled clay, students use the ‘hand building’ technique (without a wheel) to create unique pieces of art. Classes usually start with blind pottery, ie. everyone is blindfolded to allow them to feel the clay and how it responds to their touch. The idea being that once one sense is taken away, the other senses are heightened. Also, while blindfolded, one’s self judgement or fear of creating art is usually not as present. The pieces are then wood-fired. We are looking for donations for an electric kiln or other equipment and supplies and plans are under way to create a primitive pit fire aside from using the wood kiln at New Life, which takes three days to fire.
The classes are small and unstructured, yet individualized, with students creating what they feel like from recycled clay. The emphasis is on self expression rather than specific techniques, allowing the students the freedom to express themselves through the clay. The product is also less important than the overall experience itself.
Aside from self expression, pottery classes allow students to reconnect with their basic instinct to create something and by being in touch with these instincts; it is an unconscious opportunity to be mindful and present.
In Belinda´s own words,
¨I love when I have made something that speaks to another person and find that the experience of making something I perceive as beautiful is most important, but when it can transcend that singular experience and communicate with you, that’s when the piece is truly successful.¨