Art as a Healing Tool for Self & Earth

A clay sculpture & writing workshop in the hills of Townshend VT.   

Fri. Eve, Sept 20 – Sun. Sept 22, 2013

This workshop explores the role of nature for the creative soul, incorporating Joanna Macy’s “Work that Reconnects”  – a process that empowers people to re-establish their balance with the “more than human” world. We will alternate between studio and landscape, responding in clay and words to the forests and fields, rocks, trees and creatures of the Vermont landscape.

Img_1474 Through writing we play with the rich imagery of the natural world, explore connections with inner landscapes, and uncover hidden meanings, bringing them to form on the page. In clay we work physically and intuitively, encouraging emotional imagery into form. We will focus on playfulness rather than skill development, while grounding our spiritual connections to the elements of earth, as forms emerge by hand through the tactile earthiness of clay.  Img_1098

As we move more deeply into the landscape and our connections to it, we will experience the naturalness of our creative ability. Moonlight filtering through the branches of great ancestor trees become poems; the stones upon which we sit, by the touch of our hands transform into mysterious clay beings.



IMG_3883Those who have never sculpted or written before will uncover talents they never knew they had. Those with experience will have an opportunity to deepen their craft through immersion in nature, while discovering that, through their work, the earth becomes a deep well of creativity – a source for healing.


Montreal poet Elizabeth Paulette Coughlin reminisces, “There was something about working with the clay that seemed to open up a new language, and with it the possibility for a reciprocity between myself and the animate environment… Through poetry-making and working with clay I was able to enter into a sacred and intimate conversation with a deeply intelligent landscape/mindscape – the Sacred Other.” 

If we are to be earth’s consciousness, we must be conscious of the earth. The purpose of art goes far beyond the making of pretty things.  Making art offers us the opportunity to know ourselves in relation to the “more than human world,” and a means of nurturing that world as it continues to nurture and feed us.  57Leannes

“This earth that we come from, this mother, would not be as fruitful, as reproductive and as supportive as she is without our appreciation. She needs to feel our appreciation. It nourishes her. The purpose of art is to praise, thank and express our gratitude and wonder. We make art to sing up the earth.”

– Paddy Roe, Australian Aboriginal elder


Cost: $200, includes clay, room & board

The workshop will be held at The Empty Center

For more info or to register contact:

Alan at 802 387 4820,; or

Fred at 802 387 2681,