What  exactly is ‘The Clay Field’?   It is a form of therapy developed by Heinz Deuser. It is a recognized therapy in its own right and involves a simple wooden box filled with clay. The movements and gestures of one’s hands at work or at rest can tell a story and by following the impulses of the hands one can unlock histories, traumas, and deeply held beliefs through a sensory-motor impulse experience. This is a body based therapy and your hands lead the way. It is powerful and transformative.

Here’s a link where I am describing my clay work and also the clay field with fellow artist Liz Proffetty from Neighborhood Clay

Malley’s Video

Clay Field Informational Video   from Cornelia’s Website


My training so far has been with Cornelia Elbrecht and Liz Antcliffe both psychotherapists and pioneers in furthering sensorimotor understanding. Cornelia had studied  intensely with Heinz Deuser in Germany and worked with survivors from the Holocaust. She operates the Sensorimotor Institute in Apollo Bay Australia and is the author of several books on Art Therapy and Clay Field Therapy.  Liz Antcliffe is currently enrolled in her doctoral studies of Neurobiology  at the University of Australia.  The ‘Clay Field’ method is in use throughout Europe at schools, medical centers, and hospitals.  Research has shown that there is a direct connection between the hands and the Limbic brain, or reptilian brain, making it ideal for repairing trauma and PTSD in a non-verbal or ‘bottom-up’ approach. Information passed through the hands is called Haptic perception. Our hands have minds of their own and can guide the body towards healing. In other words, our hands know what we need. A skilled facilitator is required to keep the client ‘online’ or present as they navigate personal narratives and experiences through the field.

‘Touch is the most fundamental of human experiences. The first year of our life is dominated by the sense of touch. Tactile contact is the first mode of communication that we learn. … Work at the Clay Field involves an intense tactile experience-it can link us to a primordial mode of communication, to a preverbal stage in our life. This is the truly beneficial quality of clay in a therapeutic context. It’s regressive qualities will allow a therapist to address early attachment issues, developmental setbacks and traumatic events in a primarily non-verbal way, contained in the safety of the setting.’  Cornelia Elbrecht  Trauma Healing at the Clay Field. 

I’ve been working with clay a very long time and I have always known that there was something special about the process.   Having a licensed therapist is recommended.  Clay Field sessions are different from classes. There is no product to be saved, no firing and glazing. It’s just you and the clay field following your hands with me guiding and holding the line for you.  If this is something that interests you email me at hallowellclayworks@gmail.com

For more information about Work at the Clay Field