Workshop method

New Omaha Pottery Studio Adds Enrichment for the Visually Impaired

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – A workshop opens up new opportunities for the visually impaired.

“It’s slimy, it’s damp, it’s easier to work with if it’s wet, it’s slippery,” says Outlook enrichment community outreach specialist, Megan Mackie.

Mackie talks about working with clay and is one of many students participating in Coloring Outside the Lines: Pottery Workshop at Outlook Enrichment, an Omaha nonprofit whose goal is to empower people living with vision loss.

“Our group is made up of a range of people with different visual impairments or different levels of vision, so…but we kind of noticed that it didn’t really matter with that kind of stuff,” says Mackie.

Teenage Abby Cool is another student taking part in Friday’s workshop. She lost her sight after chemotherapy.

“I can’t see anything out of my left eye, but in my right eye I can’t see colors and I can’t see anything further than that,” she says as she brings a piece of clay to her eye. right.

Nebraska Arts Council Artist Cathy Witt says Abby is a regular on the potter’s wheel and says she encourages all students to close their eyes to let their unique creations appear.

“I always get them to start with bumps and bumps and then we center them and get them smooth and then they go through the process of figuring out how to center it, but all the while the hands and fingers are working all together,” Witt says.

According to the Outlook website, more than 35,000 people in Nebraska report blindness or severe difficulty seeing, even with glasses.

In Omaha, more than 15,000 people live with significant vision loss. That’s why programs like this are especially important.

“I really like doing anything with clay, anything with my hands, and that’s always been my thing,” Cool says.

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