Experience : Conversations in Clay

Updated: Jan 3

“What do you expect this course to be? What do you want it to be? What do you hope to learn?What do you not want it to be?”

Initially this task felt on the spot, because as we were being asked quite reflective and ambitious questions I found my automatic response was to offer a very literal and objective reply. I found that because I was working with an individual I which I had already built a personal rapport and relationship with it became a much more intuitive silent conversation and partnership between us, in which we could read each others mannerisms, and in some way predict responses. This pastoral element encouraged a more innate shared experiences, specifically without using direct spoken word and once the task came to a discursive point, we didn’t feel the need to particularly exchange words or review what we had intrinsically shared. However, this does make me question when interacting with individuals that are more socially unaware would these naturally communicated discussions be less difficult to form and therefore come at from more individuals that a task that in the end became about partnership with our metaphor of building and sharing ideas together?


In hindsight, watching the ways others interacted with the clay was a much more emotional and reflective response and I found that I was more preoccupied with communication rather than reflection and therefore hindered the deeper criticism or answers I was trying to come to. I wonder if this is from my own anxiety surrounding my directionless and ambiguity at the beginning of this MA and therefore my outcome is something I don’t necessarily want to set in stone just yet? I felt that on observing other participants, they were able to enhance the calming mediative experience of using clay. I liked the ideas that were introduced regarding the lack of expectations and allowing the medium or emotional response to lead rather than the desired outcome. This builds on the discussion with Natalia regarding the idea of ‘seeing where the making / doing leads to and extending this using further reflection’ rather than my more taken route of making the physical manifestation of a thought. I feel that inclusively I want this Masters to help me expand my knowledge on how to share and open emotional spaces, bring moments of joy to the forefront, with ideas of making, playing and connect through aesthetic communication.

Lottie Matthews © 2020
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