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Therapeutic Mosaic Making By Rhiannon Davies

27th October 2020

I’m Rhiannon, I started my counselling voyage back in 2000 after losing my first child Beth in 1995. I am a full-time hairdresser and have owned my salon for 30years, however, since graduating to be a Counsellor 20 years ago I have only ever done voluntary bereavement work for Cruse, both Adults, and Children, but over the last year concentrating more on CYP, since loosing my mum last year.

During 2008-2014 I taught Level 2 at Coleg Menai, in Bangor and then took a short break to enjoy some time with my 2 children Ben and Ellie before they started to find their own wings. So now every Monday I give my time voluntarily to help the bereaved. My plan was to split my 2 career paths but the hairdressing keeps pulling me back, so at present, I am planning a dream to create a separate bespoke experience for one to one wellbeing therapy sessions within the salon incorporating Indian head massage and a private space for clients to offload in a safe environment. I would appreciate your views on the service.

I would describe myself as a creative person and naturally incorporate this into my client’s work. I love seeing how creativity helps clients unfold and understand their world through art, health, and wellbeing. My personal passion is making Mosaics. Converting a picture of somewhere I have travelled to or an object/ pattern I am drawn to, then rebuilding it with small pieces of glass, stone, tiles, buttons, or pottery. My passion began through exchanging a VW Camper van with a now friend, she showed me a table she was making in the van I was purchasing and I thought oh I want to try that, that was 7 years ago. Funnily enough, we met up again on an Arts in Health and Wellbeing course the following year and now keep in touch regularly, sharing places we travel to learn new techniques. A trip to Parc Guell, Barcelona was memorising, Italy’s Basilica, Spain’s subways, Churches, and Museums have all inspired my passion. There are many beginners’ courses available throughout the country and starter kits available online to get you hooked.

 

In life, we have all broken something that has meant something special to us. We have had broken relationships. We may have lost precious photographs. Through my own grief, I’ve come to understand this.

The Japanese art of Kintsugi…. Kin(gold)tsugi(repair)..suggests many things. When an object breaks, it does not mean that it is no more useful. Its breakages can become valuable. We should try to repair things because sometimes in doing so we obtain more valuable objects. This is the essence of resilience. Each of us should try to look for a way to cope with traumatic events in a positive way, learn from negative experiences take the best from them, and convince ourselves that exactly these experiences make each person unique, precious, and valued. With this technique, it’s possible to create true and always different works of art, each with its own story and beauty, thanks to the unique cracks formed when the object breaks as if they were wounds that leave different marks on each of us.

A work in progress I have now is a mosaic of a broken vase. The base starts from the day I was born, my foundations, my family, my first crack/break appears at the age of 5 when my grandfather died, moving schools and homes, first boyfriends, opening my salon at 18 still such an important part of my life, my anchor, Beth my daughter’s birth, 5months, then she died, thus my biggest crack then appears but in its place is my beautiful cherished broach a family heirloom its represents motherhood the pain and the beauty, love, colour, growth. From now on there are more stones and cracks appearing. A beautiful blue stone to represent my son Ben, an unfortunate break up but this link is a positive flow it does not stop. Another daughter Ellie, a pink crystal so beautiful and needed but the relationship link to my partner at this time is a clear link that does not continue in my piece of art. I learn through loosing my mother, the diamond in my piece, later on past the midpoint of my creation which is now taking on a timeline creation (hence it is not finished) that I have freed myself from another family-in-law relationship but it also takes with it my brother but my bond is not breaking there any way I won’t go into to much detail there but you get the drift.

I first started this piece back in November when I did a training session in our Gwynedd Cruse  Adult CPD session and hoped to complete it in lockdown but my glass supplies are low, and because it is so poignant to me I want it to be just right, so hopefully, I can show you the completed piece in the next few months, however, the lip of the vase will be unfinished as that is my written notes to be continued but the vase has narrowed as I am maturing, I have let go of some of the things I realise I no longer need, I am nurturing the colours I value more, creating less needless cracks, I am much more Mellow, described by many as Calm and Relaxed. I enjoy my life, my work, my kids, my home, things will continue to happen in life but I feel I have learned a lot through my timeline so far and I hope this piece of art will have a beautiful ending.

My fellow peers during the session who do not all work creatively like I, really gained a lot from this exercise. Some related it to a client they were working on at the time, but most created a piece on themselves. Obviously, a mosaic can be an expensive way for a group exercise, so I implemented with, clay, plasticine, paper, pens, paint, glitter, glue, and plenty of gold flakes and pens. One lady related it to her career as a counsellor, another felt like she was in touch with her inner child by expressing herself through art which she had not done for years. Another lady’ later emailed me to say she had used the example of Kintsugi and a photograph with a client to make a mosaic, it was so powerful and helped her client move on.

 

                         

I felt pleased I had shared my creative passion with them, and I hope you all enjoy it too. Here are some examples taken from Pinterest of what is possible, a couple of scenes from my local walks, my salon pieces, and my precious stones that are in my uncompleted piece. Every walk I take I may find a special something and put it in my pocket, my vase contains notes and memories of special people, a flower, a forget-me knot, It’s my memory box.

 

                                                        

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