The Clay Project was an arts and craft project that engaged 100 people who were facing isolation because of lockdown.

As part of the project, clay was delivered to residents homes for them to make amazing ceramics creations. We were delighted to support in advertising the project to our customers, and found nearly 60 of the participants that took part.

Each had the choice of 3 types of design, and all the necessary equipment was delivered to their door, along with instructions. It was then later collected for firing and glazing and returned for the participants to treasure.

We were really happy to support the project from that was developed by Clay Studio in Hulme, and was funded through the We Love Manchester fund. The project ran for around 12 weeks, finishing in August and in the end 105 kits were made and the feedback was fantastic.

One of our residents, Elaine from Fallowfield, told us about taking part in the project. She said:

“I really enjoyed the clay project. I had the clay kit delivered to my door and in the box was all the instructions that I needed. I chose to make three small bowls but with hindsight I would have made one large bowl. Kneading the clay and sculpting the bowls felt very therapeutic.

"My mind went blank whilst trying to shape the bowls, which is good for me because my mind is constantly full of thoughts and worries.

“After I had made my “masterpiece” I left it on my doorstep for the lovely man to collect it. It was sent to the kiln and I had it finished with grey and blue glaze. After a couple of weeks, it was delivered back to me. No fuss, no hassle!
 
“I was impressed with the end result and would definitely do it again. It was fun and it relaxed me, which is what one needs in these trying times! Loved it!”

Colin

Everybody who took part discovered the benefits of creative activity.

We were really impressed with the quality of the work that was produced, and were delighted to see such wonderful designs. Another of our resident that took part in the project was Colin, and he told us about his struggles dealing with the lockdown.

“Dealing with Covid-19 kind of creeps up on you", he told us.

“I enjoyed the Clay Project immensely and I think it will be fantastic to do something similar.

"The isolation, the boot camp style instructions when queuing outside shops and inside also, they all really get to you. So having the pottery at home idea was a very welcome distraction".

 

We’re also delighted to have funded a painting project in Gorton and Longsight and it is our ambition to give more people the chance to be creative and connect in different ways.

Clay Studios were set up in 2106 and are based in the Work for Change Co-operative in Hulme and they now offer the kits from this project for people who want to try. Speaking about the project they told us:

“Working with clay can be so therapeutic and we just hope the project had some impact on people's wellbeing during the difficult times of lockdown”.

To find out more about Clay Studios you can take a look on their website for more examples of their great work.