A Passion for Pottery


Did you know that creativity increases as we  age?

Research suggests that brain changes associated with aging may actually help to unleash creativity later in life. One of the primary benefits of a CCRC is that, when no longer burdened with tasks like home maintenance, yard work and housekeeping, our residents have the time to pursue new interests and discover hidden artistic talent.

For residents Tom and Sieglinde, pottery is their chosen artistic pursuit. The pottery studio at our Ridge campus is something many of our residents enjoy. The studio is a place where residents  can take the time to work on their favorite project, or try something new. Tom visits the Ridge pottery studio Tuesday and Thursday mornings for a few hours and Sieglinde is there normally once or twice a week. Sieglinde shared, “It’s fun to be with Tom. We have a really fun time together.”

Tom began his pottery journey when he was in his 30s while living in Turkey. He started off making mosaics because tiles were so readily available. He then began doing more projects and learning about working with clay. Tom found a love for pottery when he attended classes at the Haystack Mountain School of Arts in Deer Isle, Maine.

“It’s the whole philosophy of turning what is basically mud into something very creative,” said Tom. In the studio, he likes to go by his favorite motto, “In here, we’re free spirits.”

Tom also shared a little bit about his life here at RiverWoods. He’s been living here with his wife since the Ridge opened in 2004. He emphasized, “There’s so many opportunities here to do things.” In addition to Tom’s love for pottery, he enjoys walking around the campus. Previously, Tom served as a co-chair for the garden and grounds committee for nearly 10 years.

Sieglinde moved to to RiverWoods with her husband three years ago. When asked about life here she said, “I really do enjoy the other residents. They are incredible people, very, very well educated, and a joy to be around.”

Sieglinde started making pottery 50 years ago. She took some classes at a local college and really enjoyed what she learned. She was thrilled to be able to continue her passion at RiverWoods, “I always wanted to try and do it again and since we moved here, I have that just down the hall. It’s fantastic.” (At this point, Tom interjected: “She’s very talented too.”) Sieglinde makes many types of items she uses as gifts for friends and family including vases, plates, and bowls.

“It’s creative. It’s always a surprise. It’s fun to see an idea that you have in your head and then you materialize it.”

Sieglinde also loves the fitness classes, “[the community here] really does keep your mind and body in shape which is wonderful.”

Ready to learn more about the many creative opportunities available at RiverWoods? Our Senior Living Counselors would love to give you a tour! Click here to Schedule a Tour