link to pictures from Clay Habit
link to youtube clay habit video
Link to Clay Habit Descriptive case study
I left Clay Habit the first time and wanted to come home and build a studio in my backyard. It is an amazing place and it is obvious that Lindberg researched and put a lot of thought into it. The intentionally planned peaceful setting played an important part in the creative atmosphere of the studio. From our conversations, I also detected that Lindberg has made changes along the way to improve and develop a unique learning environment. Her efforts have been successful and her mission has been met, thirty-five years in business can attest to that. This prompted me to investigate further into the design and creation of a studio.
In addition, it was obvious that a teacher’s passion and love for what she does plays an important role in the success of a program. Her students felt her attitude and in return they respected and admired her. After visiting you would agree, Clay Habit Studio is not just another pottery studio. It is a refuge, a haven. Clay Habit is unique. It is a place where education and instruction are priorities, a place where students are excited to learn, and also a place where friendships are built.
On March 31st I attended an open studio that Lindberg suggested I check out. I was there for a little over an hour and observed two women, both senior citizens. Candy and Susan attend the studio one to two times a week and have both been attending for years.. The women were eager to share and show me pieces that they had made. Again, the conversations revealed not only their love for the place but also their love for each other and appreciation for the friendships.
With a large amount of rain over the week, my second visit to Clay Habit was rescheduled to March 27th. I attended a class at the Studio that lasted for two and a half hours. I was able to observe a class of senior women, all working on different projects. The information I gathered came from watching, listening, note taking, and photographing. With only a few open-ended questions the women willingly shared their opinions and thoughts.
I learned that Clay Habit is more than a pottery class for these ladies, it is a refuge, a haven where they have the opportunity to learn from a skilled, educated and gifted teacher.
If you listen carefully to the conversations during one of Mia’s classes you will hear students make comments like these:
“You better listen, she knows what she is doing.”
“She never measures anything and it comes out perfect every time. I would have my ruler out measuring this and that. Not Mia, and look.”
“Mia, I’m not sure what to do with this mermaid’s tail. Suggestions?”
“I like it like it is, but if Mia says it needs more black paint, then it needs more black paint.”
“You know she is the best around.”
The conversations give a clear perspective of the student’s respect for Mia’s instruction and knowledge. But, it is not only about Mia’s teaching, her student’s genuinely love her.
“Mia, did you see Shakira on The Voice this week? I know how you love her!”
“Yes, yes, yes – her new album is already #2.”“No it’s #1!”
“You know where she got, my hips don’t lie? If the music isn’t good her hips won’t move.”
“Mia did you get your truck back yet?”
“No not yet. I’ve been walking everywhere. Look, I’ve worn my sneakers out. I need to go to Kohls.” “Get your purse. I’ll take you.”
I am currently taking a class through the University of Florida called Art Education in Alternative Settings. One of the projects requires us to visit an alternative site for art education, observe activities, and speak with people who teach and learn there. The program I am visiting is Clay Habit Studio in Jensen Beach, FL.
My First Visit
My first visit at Clay Habit Studio was to interview Mrs. Lindberg on the afternoon of March 21st. The visit lasted for roughly one and a half hours. When I arrived I found Mia’s studio surrounded by native landscape, clay sculptures, blown glass artwork, and a fence with locked gates. I had to call to come in the gate. I soon found out that regular patrons know where the key is hidden. For others a phone call is necessary to come in.
Upon entering, signs direct you along the rock, shell, and concrete walkway to the backyard. This is where you will find Mia, surrounded by handmade artwork, pottery, and supplies. Quickly you come to realize that Clay Habit Studio is not just another pottery studio.
As I came around to the back studio, Mia was explaining and demonstrating a sanding technique to a student. Once the student understood the process and could continue on her own, Mia took me on a tour and we sat down in the studio and talked about her beliefs and her business.
It came out during our conversation that Mia struggled with cancer. Immediately we had a connection and part of our conversation focused on running a business and dealing with cancer at the same time. She explained that for her every day is a blessing and an opportunity to share her gift with others. With that said, she also explained that she is very selective with who she accepts as regular students. They must listen and want to learn. If she feels in any way that someone may create distractions or disruptions, she only takes them on a trial basis.