Ceramic studio– realization of right for labour of deaf-blind people,
– inclusive sight for communication,
– opportunity of creative work for everyone.

First charity fairs

Learning to work with clay

The Foundation was officially registered 25th August 2014, but work on deaf-blind people rehabilitation started in 2012. It started as friend’s meetings aimed at leisure – walking together, making amateur performances etc. By the time our meetings grew into hand-made workshops. We’ve made postcards, notebooks, jewelry and souvenirs. All these things were sold at Charitable fair. Money was enough to buy Christmas gifts for everyone in the Circle. This first successful experience of creative fulfillment became an impulse to the further development. Thus our studio was born. In autumn 2014 upon advice of volunteers-artists who joined our project we started learning new type of activity: work with clay, making pottery. From the very first months it became clear that clay is an ideal material with which even totally deaf-blind people can work.

Hard of hearing blind master Michael at work
Everyday life of the studio

Soon simple crafts like bells and candlesticks were replaced by ceramic bowls with quality similar to one available for masters who see and hear. Within a short period of time our supervisees under the guidance of professional artists and potters not only learned technics of modeling and form stuffing, but started inventing their own designs using their fantasy.

Within several months we formed a group of people (with and without disabilities) who constantly work in studio and starting from April 2015 receive an official salary due to the financing of project by the Deaf-blind Support Fund «So-edinenie».

It’s hard to be indifferent to our ceramics

Studio ceramics were highly estimated by visitors of charitable and city fairs and in the internet. What started as an art-therapy turned into the handicraft and profession.

Deafblind and deaf craftsmen know that their work is in demand and feel included into society, some of them even called themselves ceramists.
TOK studio is an inclusive sight, where there are no borders, people with and without disability work, create and communicate together.
Within one year and a half TOK studio has become the project of social entrepreneurship, that provides work places for people with hearing or vision disability (alternative to work in training and production enterprises), gives opportunity to earn money, have interesting creative job and place for self-fulfillment and communication. .

Pottery modeling process
Product creation stage
Bowl painting and glazing

How it’s made ceramic masterpieces:

Deafblind craftsman use the clay modeling and form stuffing technique into the plaster molds. Every master making its own pattern with clay due to its ideas and inspiration. After the product is ready, ceramic artist finishing preparatory work (polishing and surface treatment), then the product is dried on the shelves up to three days.
When the product is completely dry, it is baked in a muffle kiln. After the first baking is complete the product is painted with glazes or engobes by ceramic artist. Then we fire the glaze.
After the second baking is complete we check the product on quality and bake it again if needed.
Thus the technological process of one ceramic product making may takes a few days to week depending on the complexity of work.
This work includes participation of all craftsmen (with and without disabilities) who gives the product a finished look.
Though some low vision deaf people are able to paint, they do it much worse than clay modeling, thus use deafblind people is in the process of molding products is more rational to both production and rehabilitation process.

Selling studio ceramics at the charitable and city markets can’t cover all the expenses for the studio, like rent and wages. At the same time , in our experience, the production, which involved people with disabilities can’t claim to self-sufficiency. In the absence of grant support, we seek help within socially responsible organizations and individuals. Please support our project by buying our ceramics – How to buy studio ceramics or making a direct donation to the foundation.