–  Okay guys, I’m gonna let you all in on what I’m working on.  I have a dream!  Since I started working with the clay last fall I noticed some things:  it helps my brain communicate better with my hands; it boosts my mood; helps my depth perception; makes my brain work in a straight line to follow directions on tutorials; strengthens my grip; keeps my hands from stiffening up, therefore reducing pain; and more.  Unfortunately, when I can’t afford to buy any clay, the effects start reversing.

So I began my quest with trying to find a clay supplier who would offer a good discount to artists with disabilities.  While I was waiting for their replies, the dream began to form.  I met last Sunday with the lady that lives across the street from mom and dad.  She has had MS for, I think she said, over 15 years and her’s is not the recurring/remitting kind like mine.  She just continually gets worse.  She used to be on the board of the local MS Society and is very knowledgeable about what kind of assistance is out there for us.  I told her about my problem with keeping myself supplied with clay on a consistent basis.  She gave me a whole “to do” list of places to call and get applications from.

While I was waiting for the clay companies and the apps, I went to my doctor for a check up and told her about all of this and she gave me a signed statement to use stating that is was a part of my routine for therapeutic reasons.  After I left there, I started thinking, if I am getting this much benefit from this activity, wouldn’t other MS patients get similar results?  That started a bonfire of activity in my brain.  I got back on my Yahoo and sent out a couple more e-mails to the manufacturers.  One of them contacted me back within the same day asking for a more definitive calculation of my needs.  I shot one back to them and I’m waiting on their reply.  Here is what I laid out for them:

My ultimate goal is to get working with clay to be a recognized physical/neurological/emotional therapy and fully support it.  I need just one manufacturer to commit to being our corporate sponsor and supplying us with X amount of clay per year to use in workshops for MS patients.  Then I will go to the equipment manufacturers and get one of them to agree in supplying X amount of equipment per year.  We in return will publicly advertise their support of our program.  Twice a year we will hold a big wing ding of an auction, televised and all that jazz, to sell the things that are made by said MS patients with the proceeds going back into the MS Foundation/Society for their funding of research for a cure.

Say a prayer that this supplier with come up with an agreement for me!!!  The e-mail from them sounded very promising indeed 🙂  That’s my dream and the reason behind my poem today.

Love to you all!!

Peace and blessings, Terri


11 thoughts on “Dreams

  1. Excellent idea. Playdough and clay are important for young children learning fine motor control and strengthening muscles in preparation for writing.
    It’s bound to be therapeudic – there must be research that can transfer to adults. Have you tried any universities’ art depts/art education education-child development depts/ psychology depts for ideas or assistance?
    You need a fed grant…the best way is to get university/med center researchers interested in the possibility
    This is so cool.

    1. Thanks Karen!! I never thought of the Universities, great idea. I’ll put Purdue and IU Med. on my list. I’ll be doing a follow up late today or tomorrow. If you have a specifics to share, I’m all ears. I’m glad you commented with what you did!!! Love and hugs, Terri

  2. Still pondering over this. You seem to be on the right track – just need sponsors.
    (Great idea to have that doc’s statement – very good to let people know that)
    Are you writing up a brief statement/proposal when people ask?
    (State the basic problem/issue in one sentence, state proposed solution: working with clay. Rationale in one sentence why this will work have positive effects/outcomes. State specifically what is needed and costs if possible, state what results expected and how positive outcome will be measured.)
    University graduate students usually do research and need a project.(Some professors like to have undergraduates involved in “research” to get that experience of organizing, conducting, analyzing, and publishing.) Schools that train therapists/ nurses may be interested. Eagle scouts need projects. Some churches have community outreaches ( one here sponsors therapy dogs for the area). This would fit in with the Mayo Clinic treatment of the “whole person” concept.
    Target does community grants. Walmart used to – write their headquarters in AR. What about major pottery supply companies (dinnerware/ garden pots – there is clay production in the US – not just imported from Mexico) Check with companies that supply schools with art supplies and clay (Ohio Arts used to be one – check with local HS art director/teacher)
    When you talk to people be ready to give specifics as far as costs. Clay in familiar moist form is heavy and expensive to ship – powdered clay is much cheaper – you just have to put the powder in a barrel, add water and let it sit a bit. Know how much that barrel will cost, how many gallons of water and cost of that water. Attention to detail shows you are planning ahead.
    Do you plan just to mush around or create things to sell to support the project (make participants feel like they are really helping, too?) What will be the outlet for sales/donations/auction of items (you have experience with this? Always good to let people know your experience)
    One resource for information might be the Brookwood Community in Brookshire, TX that started out as a simple idea and have grown. They make a lot of pottery, so they may be able to help you with clay suppliers?
    Hope some of this helps – it’s a great cause

    1. OMG! That is some great stuff, Karen! I will definitely make a list of the points you have made here. I don’t have any experience with the powdered clay or pottery clay at all. 😦 I’ve only worked with the polymer clay up to now. Sara and I just tried to make a recipe we found on line for “Cold Porcelain” but I haven’t tried the final product out yet. We will see how that goes. It is an air dry clay instead of baking and I’m curious to see what it will turn out like. I can’t say how much I appreciate your advice on this ’cause I was pretty much shooting in the wind hoping/ I want to get back on this next week but we will have to see about that; dad had to go back into surgery for a biopsy on his spine, double checking for cancer I guess and today I had to go pick Mark up from work, his first week back from his surgery, ’cause he passed out. At least one bright spot is that Sara likes her new school, thank God.
      Thanks again!!! love and hugs, Terri

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