During the never-ending Muscat heat, new indoor activities that are creative, adventurous and relaxing can be hard to find. Fatin al Zadjali finds that pottery is a great way to unwind and banish stress.
But if you haven’t tried the art of pottery, there is a place where you can use your hands to create something tangible and have enormous fun at the same time.
Whispers of Serenity can be found in Azaiba. It offers a fresh, bright ambience and pottery classes to set you on the road to craftsmanship.
Who hasn’t admired the texture, glazing and bright colours of beautiful pottery, not to mention the tactile pleasure of handling a piece?
The studio is part of the Whispers of Serenity clinic that is dedicated to health and well-being. Pottery instructor Ibtisam Abdullah takes classes to give you the tips and techniques needed for the art.
It’s my first lesson, and Ibtisam makes us wash our hands to clear out all the pigmentation from the clay.
We spin the clay on a pottery wheel and as it centres, we shape it in whatever design we like. It’s a bit like making bread.
Our handiwork then goes in to the sun for three days to harden. Once firm, out comes an array of paints, or glazes. I keep recoating my masterpiece as it isn’t sticking too well.
But never mind! I apply the glaze and put it into a kiln (a small stove) at a temperature of 1,200 degrees Celsius. What emerges is something I will be taking home, if not giving anyone as a gift.
Whispers of Serenity is a health clinic with a holistic approach to mental well-being. Many of the people who come here find that pottery is a welcome therapy for them.
The process can relieve stress, provide a sense of purpose and a true sense of clarity. I was more than happy to ditch my smartphone, get my hands messy and feel at one with Mother Nature.
Ibtisam encourages adults to find their creative side. You do not need to be an artist; there are no mistakes in pottery. The clay is extremely pliable and it can bring all your senses together.
Here, I sense a beauty of calmness, and a mellowness that enables me to realise that one can find solutions to any problem.
Teacher: Ibtisam Abdullah
Location: Whispers of Serenity, Way No 6855, Villa No 3086A, Azaiba
Classes: Monday and Tuesday, 10am-1pm and 4pm-7pm
Tel: 9935 9779