Creating beautiful pieces out of clay may not be your typical confidence building activity, but participants in the latest clay program, run by Guide Dogs Queensland, are discovering the incredible link between confidence and creative self-expression.

A woman in a zip up blue shirt sits at a table in a pottery room

“I never imagined that I could do this, but this environment is just so supportive and you just get inspiration from everywhere,” Hayley said.

“Whenever we come across challenges, instructor Jean shows us a way to work around it so that we can still achieve what we want to,” she said.

From functional plant pots and utensil holders to decorative tiles and owl figurines, the class is creating gorgeous pieces that participants will be able to share with friends and family. It is thanks to the generous support of the community, that this class have the chance to explore their creativity in a way they may not have had the chance to before.

Some of their beautiful creations are even born from accidental strokes of inspiration.

A group of women sit around a table painting various pieces of pottery

“I had some spare clay leftover and I just pressed my fingers into it and this Cheshire Cat face just came out,” Rosemary joked.

“Someone must have moved one of my pieces inside the kiln because it has a fingerprint baked into it, but I don’t mind. We never use the word ‘mistake’ or ‘error’ in this class, we use ‘organic’ and ‘character’,” she said.

While pottery may seem like a very visual activity, it is the tactile element which is incredibly beneficial for confidence and creativity for those who are blind or vision impaired.

“Being able to work with visual elements helps people with low or no vision to learn different skills that help them to feel more confident in a visual world,” Jean said.

“Physically, working with clay also promotes dexterity and fine motor skills, but mentally, this class also provides a space for inclusion and socialisation which helps build confidence.”

Filled with confidence and creativity, all the ladies in the class will be returning for the next block of classes to try their hand at building Christmas decorations.

Without the generous support of the community, Guide Dogs wouldn’t be able to offer this confidence-building activity for people with low or no vision. To help support this program click here or to find out more about taking part in the classes call our friendly team on 3500 9060 or email [email protected]

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