Clay modeling

  • Elaine Argyle
  • February 2020, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.4324/9780429469060-47

How clay work promotes wellbeing.

Photo by Andy Kelly on Unsplash

Photo by Andy Kelly on Unsplash

What is it about?

This chapter extends the concept of mental health recovery beyond individual clients to include those who work with them and the groups and communities in which they are located, thus integrating strategies and understandings that have previously been separated. It sets out the potential for mutual recovery in clay work. It is part of the book entitled "The Routledge Companion to Health Humanities"

Why is it important?

Ceramics has gained worldwide recognition as an effective therapeutic medium that can be used to promote health and well-being in many different settings and with diverse user groups. This has been particularly effective in the area of mental health, reducing the somatic symptoms of people with disabilities, and improving their spatial thinking and self-esteem. Clay is also being used with children as a means of self-expression. In spite of the potentially broad impact of creative practice with clay—not only on individual well-being, but on the groups and communities in which this work is located—most research in this area has tended to adopt an individualized approach and a primary concern with mental health issues.


Dr Elaine Argyle
University of Nottingham

This chapter is based on a series of clay modelling workshops aimed at a diverse group of participants including artists, practitioners and mental health service users. It aimed to evaluate the way in which working with clay was not only beneficial to individual participants but also to the wider group and the community beyond.

Read Publication

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Elaine Argyle