Mån 6 dec / År 39 / Nr 4 2021

Creative activities are clearly health-promoting

It is scientifically established that creative activities such as pottery have a positive impact on our mental health. Researchers have long worked to map out why creative activities are so powerful in the maintenance of good mental health. The general conclusion is that the practice of arts and crafts has a calming effect, which is something that ceramicist Ulrica Elmberg can attest to.

Creative activities repeatedly end up high on the list of health-promoting activities. Pottery is considered by many researchers to be as healthy as working in the garden for example. Artist and ceramicist Ulrica Elmberg tells us about her creative journey from hobby enthusiast to pottery course leader and exhibitor.
“Pottery has been close at hand for me since I was 18 years old. It has certainly often played its part in the background but still been present through most of my life. Over the years, I have spent a lot of time developing my own craft through courses, and the idea of ??developing it into a full-time business was born only a few years ago”.

An artist goes her own way
Ulrica explains further that it was in connection with a major change in her work situation in the hotel industry that she finally made the decision to start something new.
“I decided to go my own way and invest more into my main hobby which was pottery. After the magazine Residence fronted my creations in a major report, I was somehow noticed overnight, and then I realised that my love for ceramics could actually develop into a livelihood”.
After investing in a kiln to fire stoneware, Ulrica started offering children’s courses in her workshop in Sävedalen just outside of Gothenburg. They were soon to be followed by adult courses and today there is a comprehensive list of courses offered by Ulrica through her company MUNK Form och Fason.
Aside from the regular course activities during the fall and spring, as well as workshops and special events throughout the year, Ulrica sets up art exhibitions using both her own and other artists’ works in the permanent showroom Grindstugan in Jonsered, a short drive from Gothenburg city centre.

How can pottery affect us positively?
Researchers agree that it is a very special feeling that occurs when engaging in creative activities. Ulrica explains her own experience: “For me, pottery contributes to a calm that in turn has a healing effect. Whereas many people feel stress in their daily life, crafts can provide good refuge. I strongly believe that internal imbalance can be curbed with the help of pottery and other crafts”.
Ulrica Elmberg has always cared about the well-being of others, and she worked in the hotel industry with customer focus and experiences for a long time. Through the course activities in Sävedalen and the exhibition activities in Grindstugan, she now gets to meet people of all ages, in most professional categories and with very different life experiences.
“I am most certain that almost everyone can get something out of trying out pottery. I want to help people see the healthy instead of focusing on the unhealthy. Arts and crafts work to prevent good mental health and pottery is a process that everyone can benefit from, no matter where you are in life and what knowledge and experiences you already have”.