HEALTHY MIND MATTERS

How a Cache Valley art studio is using clay to heal

Aug 25, 2023, 9:29 PM

PROVIDENCE, Utah — A new art studio in Cache Valley promotes inclusivity, safe spaces, creative learning and it’s using clay to heal.

Sterling Brown, owner of the Cache Valley Pottery Studio, saw a void in the community: there were numerous interested potters with nowhere to create.

The studio has gathered veteran pottery instructors and newcomers who have never touched clay in a beautiful melting pot of learning and growth.

“We are up and running teaching classes and hosting parties in this new space,” Brown said.  “Being around other fun and creative people, that is what really feeds my soul.”

Brown took a ceramics class in high school, which he said created a spark of hope in him.  After starting a family with his wife, Melinda, he held a few different jobs – and the pottery equipment went into storage.

“At that point, it was about two and a half years that I hadn’t been able to touch clay.  I realized, ‘Wow I really needed this.’  And I knew others needed this.  But the space didn’t exist.  So my wife and I created it,” Brown said.

Chanel Webb, a student at Cache Valley Pottery Studio, just completed a six-week class.

“I think human contact is something we have been missing for so long; everyone is on their phones.  Here, at the studio, you’re not on a phone.  Because your hands are in mud,” Chanel Webb said.   “Ceramics takes us down to our roots – it’s built into us.  And now the community gets to connect and take part.”

This studio in Providence has multiple rooms that can be rented out for gatherings, date nights, and private lessons.

In order to purchase 10 or 12 more pottery wheels, owners are hosting an open house on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a raffle with multiple donation items from local businesses, a silent auction, free art activities for children, food, and wheel throwing for those wanting to get their hands in the clay.

The Cache Valley Pottery Studio is located at 585 West 100 North – Suite H in Providence.

“We would love to raise the money to purchase more wheels for independent potters who have the skillset, but no place to create and throw,” Brown said.

The studio also has an empty room that is open to the community for new adventures.

“We want to facilitate dreams.  We want to be a community connector,” Melinda Brown said.  “There are so many talented people out there who have incredible aspirations.  But the space, to bring those goals to life, is missing.  This room will provide that safe and dream-making space.  Already we have had people reach out who homeschool, those wanting to teach photography classes or provide dance instruction.  Really, we just want to provide an opportunity to turn ideas into realities.”

Rebecca Barney teaches classes at the Cache Valley Pottery Studio.  She addressed the increase in those seeking Art Therapy to help with mental health struggles.

“Depression at its core is the feeling of isolation from a community. This studio is designed to create connection,” Rebecca Barney said.  “Being able to make pots with their slight quirks and personalities and loving them for it – that is an act of self-love – because it’s your hands who made this.”

According to a Gallup Poll, more than 1 in 6 adults have depression as rates rise to record levels in the United States.

Barney said pottery teaches grounding and healing.

“Sitting down at the wheel is deeply personal because you have to work with so much failure,” Barney said.  “It is really therapeutic because you have to be comfortable in the moment of failure while recognizing the success of the journey.”

The Cache Valley Pottery Studio is working with the nonprofit ‘Jump the Moon’ to bring the arts to those of all abilities.

‘Jump The Moon’ brings art experiences to those with cognitive and physical disabilities.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Cache Valley Pottery Studio so we can give these special artists the feeling of clay,” Michael Bingham, Founder and Director of ‘Jump the Moon’ said.  “Even our artists who are nonverbal show the biggest smiles when given a chance to shine and create, and pottery is such a special experience.”

This studio has connected experts with novices and encircled those of all abilities.

John Westenskow taught Middle School for 36 years.  He retired as the pandemic began.

“This studio is an oasis!” Westenskow, who is now instructing at the studio, exclaimed.  “I was trying to do pottery out of my garage, but the winters are harsh here in Northern Utah.  This space is incredible.  I love teaching.  And I enjoy seeing people discover there are different ways to learn.  Many people learn in a visual, aesthetic, or musical way – this studio will speak to them.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Healthy Mind Matters

Diego Luna discusses his mental health struggles during his second season as a midfielder for Real ...

Emma Benson

‘It’s very difficult’: RSL’s Diego Luna opens up about mental health struggles

Luna, a California native and Olympic hopeful, is in his second season as a midfielder for Real Salt Lake. He admits the season was off to a rocky start. Pressures on and off the field, including becoming a father, were affecting his mental state.

1 month ago

Anton Nootenboom, "The Barefoot Dutchman", walks across the country to bring awareness to men's men...

Ken Fall

‘The Barefoot Dutchman’ and his remarkable trek for men’s mental health

Anton Nootenboom, "The Barefoot Dutchman", makes his way across the U.S. to spread awareness for men's mental health.

1 month ago

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 04:  Sesame Street characters Ernie, Bert, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Zoe and Cookie M...

Emma Benson

‘Elmo loves you!’ Our favorite red Muppet stars in mental health campaign

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we all deal with stress and different emotions. In January, Elmo asked a simple question online that sparked a huge conversation.

1 month ago

A psychiatrist at the Huntsman Mental Health is recommending to build a "mental health toolkit."...

Peter Rosen and Emma Benson, KSL TV

Building a mental health toolkit

When life overwhelms you, sometimes there's not just one solution; which is good to have a variety of tools in your "mental health toolkit."

1 month ago

Lehi seventh grader took this gun to his middle school...

Lindsay Aerts

Lehi school resource officer, middle schooler prevented Utah student’s planned suicide

The Alpine School district said a seventh grader who brought a gun to his Lehi middle school last November, planned to take his own life. A school resource officer and a fellow student stepped in.

2 months ago

Hope Hero Foundation Logo on key chain...

Karah Brackin

Utah’s Hope Hero Foundation is saving teen lives

Discover how The Hope Hero Foundation empowers teens and prevents suicide. Be the hero of your own story!

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

How a Cache Valley art studio is using clay to heal