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Artist Nick Evans has been holding weekly drop-in ceramic workshops on mental health wards 3 and 17 at St. John’s Hospital, Livingston. These workshops are being supported by the Occupational Therapy Mental Health team, with whom Artlink has a long working partnership.

The workshops have been designed to encourage patients who may have little, or no experience of working with clay, to have fun, have a good experience and get a rewarding result in a short time.

The ‘picture tiles’ are made by rolling out clay slabs, using cutters or scribing into the clay to create an image in relief. The tiles are coloured with underglaze before the slabs are taken away to be glazed and fired by Nick in his Glasgow studio, then returned to the makers.

If the patients are more confident with clay or have a particular idea they want to try, Nick works with patients to realise their own vision in clay.

The class tends to bring a peaceful energy to ward 17 and I often see a more calm side to many patients at the art group while they get to concentrate on their work which feels purposeful and personal, also with the motivation of its journey to and from the kiln and Nick’s comforting guidance! Occupational Therapy

The workshops have proved very popular with patients and staff alike, everyone looks forward to Nick coming onto the ward each week and have asked that the sessions be continued. Nick ceramic workshops are programmed until the end of April 2022.

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