“Creative engagement leads to self-confidence and self-empowerment.”
Adrian Wistreich is effusive about the benefits of getting your hands around a hunk of wet clay.
After more than two decades of corporate life in London, Adrian waved goodbye to the rat-race to pursue his ambition of becoming an artist and teacher. Having sold his publishing company, he moved to Kinsale and set up the Kinsale Pottery and Art School, now the largest privately-run arts and crafts teaching centre in the south of Ireland, almost 20 years ago.
It’s been a tricky start to the summer, but after four months in lockdown, Kinsale Pottery reopens for weekly classes, one and two-day weekend courses and summer schools for adults and teens from July 20th.
And if you ask Adrian, we need a creative outlet now more than ever:
“To move forward, we need to connect with our inner world, our emotional intelligence and creative selves,” he explains.
“I think COVID-19 has forced us all to look at what we’re doing and to change our lives. We will find that our creative self, once we give it space to grow, is a hugely powerful driving force. It motivates us and allows us to breathe more oxygen, and it helps to unlock and dissipate the deep-seated stress and sense of loss we all feel now.”
He’s not wrong. A 2017 study showed that when adults with major depressive disorder took part in regular clay art sessions, they experienced improvements in their general health and body-mind-spirit well-being.
Other studies show that the soothing repetitive motion of shaping clay could boost levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin in the brain.
It will be 2021 before the corporate groups and hen parties return, so if you’re local, this summer is an excellent time to take advantage of the quiet, socially distanced studio and try a beginner’s course (check out the website here).
“Creative engagement leads to self-confidence and self-empowerment,” adds Adrian.
“At this point in the curve, we all need to feel that way in order to effect change in our lives against the backdrop of uncertainty we are all facing.”
Inner peace and a beautiful handmade piece of pottery to take home? Sign us up.