CERAMICS classes have been taking place at a County Durham care home despite visitor restrictions – thanks to the use of digital technology.
Residents at Pelton Grange Care Home, on Front Street, Pelton, have been using video conferencing software and tablet computers to communicate with their ceramics tutor during classes.
The tablets are set up on the table so residents can hear and see Equal Arts associate Lindsey Greaves as they shape and decorate the clay.
During the latest session, residents were instructed on how to make ornamental coasters, which they textured with flowers, bark, leaves and herbs from the garden, along with decorative wooden stamps for the borders.
As a group, they have also been making a large tile artwork and small pinch pots for plants or storage of treasured possessions.
Lindsey is delivering eight digital classes for the resident potters, organised by The Mighty Oaks, with support from creative ageing charity Equal Arts as part of their HenPower project.
The project has been made possible by funding from the Government’s Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund.
Lindsey said: “Throughout the sessions, we will go through the whole ceramics making process, from creating the items, which I will pick up and kiln fire before returning them to the residents, when they will paint and glaze them. I will then fire them again and deliver them back for residents to add any final touches.”
Resident Dorothy Richardson, 89, said: “It was great exercise for my hands working with the clay. The bowl I made would be nice to put my jewellery in.”
Ann Capon, 76, said: “I loved being busy and making things with my hands is very satisfying.”
Former baker Ralph Baines, 86, said: “It’s like working dough when you knead the clay. I really like working with the clay.”
Emma-Lea Cavagan, activities coordinator at Pelton Grange Care Home, said: “The sessions have been really successful.
“Even though Lindsey can’t be here with us at the moment, it’s great to know that we can use technology to help the residents enjoy meaningful activities.
“Despite the difficulties of the last few months, we are finding ways to keep residents engaged and entertained with the help of digital technology and they are getting used to using the technology to learn and communicate.”
“Everyone at Pelton Grange would like to say a massive thank you to Equal Arts for their ongoing support and we look forward to continuing to work with them on a regular basis.”