Exploring Creativity: Parents and Daughter Pottery Class

Santa Maria College Art Technician, Marilyn Morin, hosted our parent-daughter pottery classes recently, which proved to be a tremendous success.

We had the opportunity to speak with Marilyn and about her story.

After completing high school in Scotland, I pursued further studies at college (TAFE) to strengthen my portfolio for art school applications. I was accepted into Herriot Watt University, Edinburgh College of Art, where I graduated in 2001 with a BA Honours Degree in Design & Applied Art, specialising in Ceramics. For the past 22 years, clay and various forms of three-dimensional art have been an integral part of my life. Being a tactile person and visual learner, I have always loved learning and sharing skills with students of all ages. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of exploring numerous sculpting techniques, including bronze and iron casting, glass blowing, glass casting, industrial mold making, slip casting, throwing, woodworking, and the list goes on.

In my opinion, creativity is an under-appreciated mindfulness practice, focusing not solely on the end result. Engaging in the process of creating something sculptural or functional, getting your hands dirty, and immersing yourself in the art brings immense peace. Working with neurodivergent individuals, I have discovered that clay stimulates all our senses. It becomes a physical, sensual, and mental experience that harnesses our motor skills and imagination, fostering self-expression and enhancing the mind-body connection.

Among all these techniques, throwing on the potter’s wheel remains my absolute favourite. I have taught this skill to children, teenagers, and adults alike. While the learning process can be challenging, perseverance pays off, and once mastered, it grants a sense of liberation like riding a bicycle.

The parent and daughter classes were truly special moments. Participants effortlessly entered a state of flow where time seemed to vanish. For students, it was a chance to return to school and work in a more relaxed and unstructured manner. As for the parents, it provided a wonderful opportunity to unwind and fully immerse themselves in the clay.

I cherish my job and consistently encourage students to purchase some clay, spread a tablecloth, and give it a try at home. Contrary to popular belief, working with clay doesn’t have to be messy or dirty.

In recent years, I co-founded a small business with some friends, aiming to make clay art more accessible to everyone. We offer kits for sale, allowing individuals to explore their creativity at their own convenience.

The feedback we received from the recent classes has been overwhelmingly positive, with participants relishing the opportunity to engage in this shared creative experience. Here, two families who attended the pottery classes share their thoughts on the experience.

“The clay workshop was a fun bonding experience for both myself and Lily. We had a chance to spend some rare 1-1 time together, have a laugh and try something different. It was also special to be able to take something away to remind us of this experience. Thanks for the opportunity!” Verena & Lily Edwards

“Adayna and I loved the clay workshop! Marilyn was such a patient, and wonderful teacher, guiding us along, that we felt really comfortable and happy making anything our hearts desired (from a pinch bowl to a vase to a surfboard!). Special thanks to Marilyn and you guys for the workshop!”  Nasim & Adayna Fozdar

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