All are welcome to the next event by the Friends of Brecon and District Mind on Tuesday 9th May which will be a personal exploration by well-known local potter Martin Craddock of the therapeutic benefits of pottery for good mental health. This will be held at the Wellington Hotel in Brecon at 7pm.
‘As I came to work in the field of mental health with no practical experience or formal training my talk will focus mainly on the qualities of clay that I feel make it such a beneficial therapeutic medium,’ explains Martin. ‘I will talk both about the medium itself and also about the positive benefits that people gain from engaging in a shared creative group.’
Martin completed a ceramics degree at West Surrey College of Art and Design in his early twenties. ‘This was’, he recalls, ‘a seriously practical course in which the fundamentals of sound craftsmanship as well as the sensitive use of materials were encouraged.’
He began teaching pottery quite by accident about twenty years ago when asked to run sessions at the Mid Wales Hospital in Talgarth: ‘This was due to be a short-term contract but became permanent when the previous tutor decided not to return after maternity leave. Twenty years later I still work on a weekly basis at Bronllys Hospital on the psychiatric ward. I sometimes feel as though I’ve become an accidental therapist.’
Teaching at Bronllys was funded by the WEA and its popularity resulted in a community course being set up at Arts Alive in partnership with the former Brecon and District Contact Association. Now run solely by Brecon and District Mind, this is hugely popular.
Throughout the early part of his teaching Martin also worked as a pottery assistant at the Black Mountains Pottery in Talgarth. In addition to his work in the area of mental health he also teaches at the take pART workshop in Brecon and for Arts Alive Wales in Crickhowell.
Friends of Brecon and District Mind