Lesson 10: Beading: Healing

Pray as you can for prayer does not consist of thinking a great deal, but of loving a great deal.”

St. Teresa of avila

HEALING HANDS – Bead by Bead

Our goal working with clay is to release stress and anxiety, to shift negative tendencies of the mind, and to transform pain into meaningful experience. All of these actions will prepare us to practice gratitude in our daily experiences, so we can continually invite joy into our lives.

Restorative Benefits of Working with Clay

1. Release of anger, frustration and anxiety –
Clay is a relaxant similar to a stress ball. You can slam it, beat it, poke it, and at the same time, touch it gently, squeeze it and stretch it.

2. Holistic Experience –
Clay work combines body, mind and soul. Clay requires physical work to manipulate it and mental processes to transform it into something new. The result is meaningful expression and deep satisfaction.

3. Relaxed Meditative State –
The repetitive motion of clay work can get us out of our heads and become more present in our bodies through touching.

4. Conscious and Unconscious –
Making Art is an extension of who we are and clay can be a metaphor for inner worlds. Clay transformation can mirror our own personal changes.

5. Tactile Gratification –
Our ability to reshape clay is a tangible transformation that can be applied to our lives, as it enhances our sense of competence and of possibility.

6. Self-care –
Hands-on art is considered a form of self-care similar to exercise. It is healing for the Soul!

Gratitude Writing Exercise

Location: In one sentence write your name, physical location, and the location of your soul.
Kindness: Write one kindness (anything good in your life at this moment) you have received in the past 48 hours.
Blessings: In two minutes write as many blessings you received in the past week.
Reading: Claim your blessings by reading them out loud.

Art Exercise:

Watch the video embedded below and read Fab’s Polymer Clay Overview (pdf) before you start.
Select a few colors of clay to work with.
Prepare a portion of each color by kneading the clay until soft. You may want to start by rolling it out before kneading. Either way, soften and work out any air bubbles.
Use any of the techniques shown in the video to make beads.
The clay will be soft after you work with it, so wait at least a few hours (or overnight,) then use a tool or wire to poke a wiring hole through the beads.
In any case, don’t get too attached to the products resulting from this first exercise as the beads may not survive the baking process.
Read Tips for Baking Polymer Clay (pdf) before curing your beads.

Suggested Materials:

One polymer clay set (or single colors, but include black and white)
One set of tools
Clay softener
An oven (your kitchen oven is fine as long as you don’t overbake the clay.)

Shopping Links (pdf)

Watch Beading Lesson video #1…

Our guide: Fabricia Lima – contemplative artist, spiritual practitioner, mystic and mother. She has a bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts from UFG (Federal University of Goiás) from Brazil. She is a certified spiritual director by the Haden Institute, certified (in all levels) children’s spiritual formation teacher by the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd National Association, certified SoulCollage® facilitator, Veriditas trained labyrinth facilitator, and creator of Art as a Spiritual Connection™ programs. 

Fab brings the gifts of creativity, contemplation, and hospitality in all that she does – serving as a sacred container by holding space for others as they seek spiritual awareness. She believes that art as soul expression is for everyone and the creative process can be a pathway to self-reflection and restorative healing. Her preferred art mediums are: acrylic paint, colored pencils, watercolor, polymer clay and collage. Connect with Fabricia at http://www.spiritedhandstudio.com.

Visit our Contemplative Creativity page to learn more about this program and to catch up on previous lessons.

Lesson 10: Beading: Healing