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A Matter of Heart

January 7th, 2015 by Oliver Frings
reading time: 1-2 minutes

Unique pottery is made by unique people in Kainbach bei Graz in Austria. Home on earth sells the ceramic heart from the Saint John of God Centre, which is not only beautiful, but also supports a heartfelt cause.

The Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God, which has its roots in Spain, runs in Kainbach bei Graz, beautifully situated in the countryside, a residential home for people with a range of needs including intellectual disability and psychiatric disorders. As part of the occupational therapy in the „Johannes von Gott-Pflegezentrum“ (Saint John of God Centre) artistically talented residents or those who are simply keen on art, work in creative workshops such as the pottery workshop and create, amongst other things, our ceramic hearts.

Photos © Christian Jungwirth

Guided by a trained potter and co-workers with pedagogical training, they work with clay, a very flexible material. It is shaped by hand, thus directly stimulating the sense of touch.

While the clay is supple and smooth during the process of moulding, it adopts a state in which it may survive thousands of years once it is dried, baked and glazed. This material is lovingly shaped in the workshops into nearly unbreakable ceramic hearts, symbols of human kindness and love. The human heart.

Work in the pottery workshop enables the artists to experience self-efficacy and appreciation. The residents even make some money from it. Independent creative expression has a positive effect on their self-confidence. So far many of the unique ceramic hearts have travelled to „home on earth“ and have found people who fell in love with them at first sight. We believe many will follow.

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