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More Than "Just Clay"

Lakeside Pottery, Morty Bachar and Patty Storms

"Our lives are drawn out for us by a master artist. But we are given the colors to paint our own souls. Some days the colors we choose enrich who we are. Other days our brush strokes seem to leave shadows over the person we long to be. That is when we need a vision greater than our own. If we look from afar, we can see the beauty of the dark and light hues, working together to create balance. From this perspective, we can see ways to illuminate our lives with fresh, true colors as we slowly become the masterpiece we were designed to be."Hands on Clay

Clay is an extraordinarily tactile, honest and alluring medium; an ideal vehicle through which to explore, express and discover ones creative inner world. Working with clay is also an excellent tool for exploring fears, attitudes, thoughts and feelings. The use of clay encourages self-discovery and adds to sensory stimulation. It can be an outlet for frustration and improves motor skills. You can tell a lot about people by the way the use their hands and how they explore new limits and experience success or failure. The use of the potter’s wheel in particular requires one to be focused, patient, decisive, delicate and fearless. We teach how to gain these attributes and many take the learning and apply it to not only their pottery work but also to their everyday lives.

We have witnessed dozens of cases where clay work is a powerful vehicle for healing (e.g., depression, hyper activity, stress, cancer recovering patients, etc.) through creative self-expression. It not only helps to release body tension; it is also a lot of fun.

One of the activities at Lakeside Pottery in Stamford is corporate team building. Companies such as Unilever, Coca Cola, MasterCard, Pfizer, GE, American Express, Clairol and Diageo-Guinness spend a few hours at the studio with well-planned exercises, which enable the management teams to reduce stress and most importantly, learn about each other in a completely different way.

For example, a demonstration is given by the instructor of basic pottery techniques and then the team is encouraged to work either in groups or individually to produce a unique project. The results are always exciting for both instructor and participants. Another exercise is the “Discovering Your Senses” activity where the teams work with clay while eyes are closed. As they listen to the instructor’s soothing voice guiding them how to work the clay, they discover that they can actually see with their fingers. They become relaxed with closed eyes focusing on the task in front of them. The instructor seizes this moment of self-reflection and help guides the conversation to further discover who each person really is and not only their identity within the work place hierarchy.

On Feb 26, 2002, Lakeside Pottery, Ceramic School and Studio, on Newfield Avenue in Stamford, opened its doors. To date, they have enrolled more than 4,000 students in classes, workshops and open studio in addition to outreach programs conducted in local schools. Lakeside Pottery follows a guiding philosophy of "creating a pottery studio where newcomers as well as professional artists can come to create in a place with an atmosphere of warmth, sharing and love of pottery." The studio is spacious and bright and is an excellent place for inspiring artists and developing friendships. The teachers are experienced ceramic artists, and all have interesting, rich and diverse backgrounds.

Lakeside Pottery School offerings include: adult classes for beginner to advanced, 8-week children’s programs, summer pottery camp, private lessons, birthday parties, group and corporate team building workshops. Monitored open studio hours are provided for students and artists to practice and work without instruction.

Our 8-week children’s pottery and weekly summer camp programs are designed to train boys and girls in the art of pottery in a professional and modern pottery studio, spacious and conveniently located. Students work with clay using the potter’s wheel, sculpting, experimenting with shapes, texture and glazes. The classes are taught by experienced ceramic artists who enthusiastically teach a high quality curriculum while having lots of fun. Each child will complete several decorative and functional pottery pieces. More challenging work is assigned to students with previous experience.

For more information call 203-323-2222 or visit

Posted by Patty Fava Storms on 8/31/09 | tags: pottery classes workshop After school Art home Birthday party Potters Wheel corporate team Building ceramic Sculpting summer camp children Activities private lesson Open studio kiln sharing Raku gift certificate Adult education stamford new Canaan darien CT connecticut Greenwich sculpture mixed-media

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