Clay Pottery A Good Way To Unwind

hroughout history, the use of clay in therapeutic settings has been documented in many cultures worldwide, with evidence of its use dating back to ancient times. 

In contemporary times, clay pottery has progressed into a reputable form of art therapy, with some experts describing the emotional healing achieved through this as “truly remarkable”.

Clay art therapy offers a range of techniques that are said to aid in improving mental health and enhancing psychological well-being. 

One of the most prominent techniques used in this therapy is wheel throwing, which refers to the process of shaping clay on a potter’s wheel to create ceramic items such as pots, bowls and vases. This process is said to improve patience and concentration.

Another technique is hand building, which allows one to create ceramics with clay and their hands.

There is a pottery studio in Petaling Jaya that offers classes to enable people to experience the benefits of clay art and explore its therapeutic potential.

Norbert Wong, 42, the founder of Good Times DIY Pottery Studio, even created and introduced a programme, which he described as innovative and engaging, in 2021 to promote emotional healing and help people manage stress, with the workshops and classes led by experienced pottery masters.



The programme participants get to learn the wheel throwing and hand building techniques.

According to Wong, working with clay has many benefits including stress reduction and improved emotional regulation.

One of the Good Times DIY studios in Petaling Jaya that offers clay pottery making classes.

He said this was evident among the participants themselves who found shaping clay to be therapeutic and a way to distract their minds from work stress.

“They also reported to us that working with clay activates their creative minds. I believe our workshops can also help individuals struggling with social anxiety issues or shyness,” he told Bernama, adding his studio has also facilitated team-building activities for several companies.

“It’s quite challenging for us to handle large crowds during the team-building sessions but the participants have so much fun making their own ceramic items.”



Creating objects with clay is a physical, mental and even sensual experience that engages a person’s muscles, fine motor skills and imagination, Wong pointed out. 

The tactile nature of modelling clay also engages multiple senses, allowing people to experience its texture, shape and form through touch. 

Among the clay products successfully produced by studio participants.

“As soon as they are given clay, our programme participants will immediately begin to mould and shape it. This helps them realise that they have control over the medium and that it quickly responds to their fingers. 

“This feeling of control gives them the confidence to attempt any project, which in turn opens the door to greater self-expression and imagination. Clay also teaches us to rectify any mistake and not to be afraid to make an artwork out of it," he added. 

Wong also recalled a pottery workshop he and his team conducted for children with autism. It was challenging but ultimately it was a rewarding session for everyone. 

“For that particular class, one of the main challenges for us was to think and act fast when handling the children because they think and act differently from others,” he said.

Wong said he also always encourages parents and teachers to let children play with clay as “playing with clay and making objects with it actually help children to think differently”.  

He added it is also a new experience for children when they are taught to make things with clay.



Good Times DIY Pottery Studio supervisor Norfarisha Adilea Mohd Faris, 21, said participants of their pottery classes are each given 500 grammes of clay which they can use to make a cup, bowl or plate.

They are taught to mould the clay using a wheel throwing machine.

Good Times DIY supervisor Norfarisha Adilea Mohd Faris (left) said that pottery class participants were given 500 grams of clay to make cups, bowls or plates.

“We instruct them to remove air bubbles and ensure the clay is evenly mixed. They are also taught to control the speed of the wheel and add water if the clay gets dry.

“The process must be repeated patiently using alternate pressure with their hands until they achieve the desired shape. Learning how to coordinate their hands with the wheel and centering the clay may take some time, but once they get the hang of it, it will become easier,” she explained.

After centering the clay, participants will be taught to shape the clay using their thumbs to make the base. Then, they will need to pull the clay upwards using both hands.

“This step requires utmost patience as failure to do it properly might require starting over,” Norfarisha Adilea added.

She also said once the participants have finished working on their creations, the studio staff will take care of firing the ceramics using a specialised kiln and glazing them to make them food-safe and waterproof.  

“Their artworks will be ready for collection in one month. This is because it actually takes some time to complete the kiln firing, colouring and glazing processes,” she said.

One thing that sets this pottery studio apart from others is its location inside a shopping mall.

“We always receive walk-in customers who say they are surprised to see a pottery studio located in a mall. Many parents like leaving their kids in our studio because while their children are indulging in clay art, they can have some time for themselves,” he added.


Edited by Rema Nambiar

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