Learning the skill of pottery can support people with mental health problems

Re-Fire is offering mindful pottery classes to help tackle anxiety, depression and provide stress relief through its therapeutic qualities

Pottery –  just one example of a mindful activity that can benefit your mental health

Re-fire is a project offering six-week pottery classes to support people struggling with their mental health. 

It is a collaborative project, run by Cardiff Pottery Workshops Foundation on Penarth Road, with classes on Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 10am. 

Classes offer a friendly community, where participants can exercise their creativity, working with the clay to experience its therapeutic qualities and stress relief. 

Kelly Campbell, director of Cardiff Pottery Workshops Foundation, who suffers from depression herself, said: “It’s not just about the action of pottery itself, it’s the sense of community. 

“When you’re ill, you can often isolate yourself, it’s a hard thing when you’re unwell to leave the house,” she added. 

Kelly has observed that the mental health classes have been her most popular and described the course as a “journey”. 

She said that for those waiting months for appointments with a counsellor, it gets them out of the house and engaging with something to take thoughts away from what they are actually feeling. 

Re-Fire provides community based support for mental health problems through pottery

Pottery, among other artistic exercises, is often used as a form of mindful therapy.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommend mindfulness as a way to prevent depression for people who have had more than three bouts of depression in the past year. 

The NHS advises that paying attention to the present moment and to the world around you can improve mental wellbeing. 

Garthine Walker, integrative therapist and psychotherapeutic counsellor, said that people suffering from anxiety, stress and depression can benefit from these mindful activities. 

Speaking about mindful creative therapy, she said: “This can help clients learn to self-regulate, to bring themselves back to the present when their thoughts and feelings have run away with them to the past or future.”

She added that this is something those suffering from poor mental health can practice at home, through creative activities. 

Fabricate is a new magazine dedicated to mindful crafting and how taking up an activity can benefit your wellbeing. The first issue is available online now and focuses on exploring the mental health benefits of pottery.

A creative look at how to get involved with mindfulness through crafting