Passion for Family Sparks Interest in New Art Form
Ron Fraser has taken up a new hobby. While he enjoys painting in United Active Living’s Garrison Green art studio, he has more recently turned his attention to creating clay figurines inspired by photos of his family.
Ron’s first attempt was a figurine of his wife, Irene, who recently passed away. “That was the first one I made,” said Ron. “I learned a lot from that, which I’ve incorporated into my other figurines.”
His next project was a figurine of him holding his granddaughter. For that one, he added a lock of hair.
Most recently he created figurines of his son, Tim, and his wife based on a photo of the pair.
“When I saw the photo, I just decided to try to create it in clay. I hadn’t done anything like that before,” said Ron. “It was challenging to work with clay in this way, but it led to other projects like this one of the two of them. It’s a nice way to use the photo and it’s quite rewarding to see the results.”
“The figurines go to our kiln in our sister Fish Creek community for firing,” said Creative Facilitator Andrea Gardner. “With firing, the colours come out brighter. I was really impressed with the figurines Ron created. It’s very touching to see his family take form in clay. Sometimes Ron will have an idea about what he wants to create, and we encourage him and offer advice if he wants.”
“I’m getting better at it,” said Ron. “I think it’s working out really well. I get a lot of satisfaction from doing them. You never quite know what’s going to happen when you start, and I’m often surprised at how well they turn out. It’s challenging to take a piece of clay and make a head or a body out of it. At the end, it’s quite interesting what you can make out of it.”
Research at the National Institute on Aging in the U.S. shows that participating in creative expressions like dance, theatre, creative writing, and other art forms can improve older adults’ quality of life and well-being, improve cognitive function, memory, and self-esteem, reduce stress and enhance social interaction.
The art studios at Garrison Green and Fish Creek communities form one of the cornerstones of United Active Living’s dynamic programming. Professional artists welcome budding and experienced artists who enjoy bright, well-stocked spaces and regular demonstrations in a variety of mediums to encourage broad exploration of an individual’s creative potential. Everyone is welcome, from lifelong artists to a person who wants to have fun and create for the first time.
Photos and videos by Sherana Productions.
Speak with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange tours of our Garrison Green and Fish Creek communities. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help!