Shakeys Holds Manager’s Training at Casa San Pablo
Sykes Asia Goes Team-building at Casa San Pablo
Special Discounts on Conference Packages
Casa San Pablo Meeting Facilities
WEDDING INSPIRATIONS: Ryan and Christine's Wedding
Blue And White Wedding
Bountiful Wedding
Hacienda Wedding
Dining Hall Reception
Garden Reception
Pavilion Reception
Bed And Breakfast
Romantic Stay
Family & Balikbayan Escape

Clay Play

Jun
15

There was a moment as I walked the empty hall—where we had just set up clay work areas for 35 students in five long tables with half a kilo of terra-cotta clay each and trays of sculpting tools—when I felt I had crossed the threshold of a dream.

The idea of running creativity workshops using clay came to us one early morning, on one of our crack of dawn drives to San Pablo. While I was telling Boots about my experience working alone at my craft and getting to know the inner voices that help and not help my creative process, we thought how wonderful it would be to share the insight to more people: We are all creative, we just have to know how to recognize and work through the inner critic that tells us otherwise. Making clay figures seemed to be the perfect way to get that message across because the only way to get beyond the inner critic is to get in touch with our inner child. Working with clay feels like child play.

The Universe heard the idea and, as I am coming to recognize more and more, conspired to make things happen. (Thank you for the words, Paolo Coehlo).

So this was the moment. Having sent out the wish, there were now three dozen students, from 18 to 25 years old, brought in by their enthusiastic professor to try out our Casa San Pablo Clay Creativity Workshop. While I had done this before, I had only done it for small groups of mostly kids and women whose innate child-like enthusiasm were enough to carry them through. I was apprehensive about having so many jaded teenagers try out the activity. Would they really pause and take in this idea of an inner critic that can be healed through play? Or would they dismiss it as ditzy artist talk? I took a deep breath and crossed the threshold. This was my dream, I simply had to walk across to make it come true.

I had designed the workshop to be an interplay of experiential learning games and clay activities. We began out in our garden first with a game that helped them see that making mistakes is necessary to unleash creativity. Happily, there were enough of the students who applied themselves to the game, jumping and laughing as they encouraged each other along. The playfulness carried through to the clay activities.

When they walked into the workshop hall, they were ready to explore and play. I told them the story of Helen Cordero, the Cochiti Pueblo lay artisan who created the first storyteller dolls. She didn't know how to make functional pottery, an embarrassment to her community, but she kept on working with clay until she discovered she could do figures and created the first storyteller dolls, changing pueblo pottery tradition forever. Then I taught them how to make their own storyteller dolls, working through and beyond their own fear and embarrassment, to have the clay release their creative side.

I was surprised at the wonderful work they produced. The energy in the room was contagious. They identified their blocks, writing these on paper, and converting these to positive affirmations. "Just keep going," some wrote. Others said: "Sige, lang. Walang pangit. Lalabas din ang maganda." Still others told themselves: "Kayang kaya ito."

Their creativity was unleashed. And just like that, our dream had come true.