Art Therapy and Ceramics

Hi everyone! So as many of you know I’m an Art Therapy major. Every semester we are required to make one or more pieces regarding Art Therapy. In the past I have made paintings, but this time I decided to try my hand at working ceramics into Art Therapy. I know that clay is a great, therapeutic tool to use, but I’ve had limited experience in using it in that way. I’ve had many ideas in the past that included making pieces in regards to Art Therapy, but this is the first time I’ve went through with an idea.

My ceramics career has been left to making functional pots, nothing very sculptural. Obviously this choice has been made by me, but I decided to test my limits as an artist and go with it. One of our pieces has to reflect our experience with transference or counter-transference in our internship. Essentially transference is when the therapist or the client “transfer” or redirect feelings from one person to another. For instance, it would be as if a strong anger towards your friend may become redirected towards your Therapist, even though they didn’t do anything wrong. In a therapeutic setting, the transference happens between the patient and therapist.

With the idea of transference in mind, I first decided to throw a pot on the wheel. Once the pot stiffened up enough (a day or so later) I began to carve out of the one side of it. These carvings are called facets, and I’ve enjoyed making/looking at them for a while. They leave the surface very angular as opposed to rounded, like a usual pot would be. I only faceted the one side of the pot, and then I did some more directly across on the inner lip. Essentially, I transferred the surface decoration that was supposed to be retained to one side to the other. And that is how I chose to abstractly show the idea of transference in my ceramic pot. The pot still needs to be bisqued and glazed, so maybe I’ll do some more surface decoration with glaze to push the idea even more. This was a fun process for me, and I’ll definitely be doing it more in the future.

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