Why We Love Clay

Clay is one of those things that is almost irresistible to adults and kids alike. Who can resist picking up a cool piece of clay and squishing and squeezing it; letting it ooze between your fingers or rolling it around on the palm of your hand? Not many can deny the desire to ‘play’ with clay. All you really need is your own two hands and a bit of creativity to work with clay.

“I like clay because you can get really creative and you can make up stuff that does not really exist. Things you make can come in handy like cups and bowls; this is why I like clay.” Annie Y-Arts Student

The first time I experienced clay, I knew it would become part of my life for a long time. I studied studio arts and art education in college, and after graduating I apprenticed with a local potter in Exeter. I was able to learn studio maintenance and began teaching classes in clay. I have now been working and teaching clay for ten years. I came to work for the YMCA to share my passion and knowledge for the arts, and I find great pleasure in teaching in our Y-Arts studios.

“My favorite part about clay is you can let your imagination do whatever it wants. I like doing clay at YMCA in Exeter because I know so many people and I feel welcome.” Michaela Y-Arts Student

Our clay studio has access to both hand building and wheelwork. Students really enjoy learning both. I believe working in clay has many benefits in our everyday life, such as improving decision-making and problem-solving skills, encouraging patience and self-esteem, developing motor skills by improving hand-eye coordination and encouraging right-brain thinking, and most importantly allowing creativity.

“I like clay because you can stretch your imagination. You can make anything you want. I love working on pottery wheel. This program is great because it has fun activities, like pottery wheels!” Brendan Y-Arts Student

“I like getting to make cups or pots on the pottery wheel. I get to make a lot of fun projects with clay.” Emma Y-Arts Student

    “I like work on the wheels because it is really fun and I don’t have one at home. It is cool because you have your own wheel to work on and you can create pots! You can use your own imagination because there is no right or wrong. “ Vanessa Y-Arts Student

“I like to make different shapes on the pottery wheel. I also like to wedge my clay before working on the wheel. I like hand build because I can create different shapes with my own hands.” Aliviah Y-Arts Student

At the YMCA in Exeter through our Y-Arts classes we offer clay classes for kids, teens and adults. We currently have a clay studio with ten pottery wheels; and an area to work on hand building projects. We offer all the clay tools you need and will fire all your finished work in our two kilns.

“I like working on the wheel, because I like seeing it go in a circle and the way it forms things. I like being able to glaze my pieces to get the finished look.” Regan Y-Arts Student

“I like the finish pots that I have made. They look really cool! We have a kiln after you finished on the pottery wheel, you have to put it in the kiln, and then you paint and put it in the kiln again.” Michael Y-Arts Student

All Y-Arts classes take place at the YMCA in Exeter facility located at 30 Linden Street, Exeter. If you have any questions, please e-mail y-arts@ymcacamplincoln.org or call (603) 422-3782.

Jessica Seaton
Y-Arts Manager and Teacher

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