The material that better exemplifies the concept of transformation and metamorphosis is clay; an extraordinary medium for the laboratory of Expressive Techniques at the Academy of Brera. Dry clay is hard, rough and very fragile to the touch. When dry clay is treated with large quantities of water and hand-modeled, its appearance becomes shapeless, mushy, sticky and elusive, and almost unpleasant at first glance. Only after a thorough processing it becomes pleasant to the touch. It is worth to note that clays is a non-toxic material with healing properties.
Upon reaching the ideal consistency, clay is soft, plastic, malleable and suitable for any shaping or transformation, it allows hand-modeling and its surface would show fingertips upon impression. This exercise with liquid clay start with a block of dry clay; use a hammer, or a mortar to reduce dry clay to a fine powder (fig. 1 fig. 2 fig. 3), then lay it on a flat waterproof surface, add water and mix until you get a creamy pulp (fig. 4 fig. 5). The liquid clay acts as a powerful glue on the hands, that stick to the flat surface as if it was a magnet (fig. 6). Rotating your hands will provoke extraordinary tactile feelings that take one back to a primordial tactile dimension (fig. 7 fig. 8 fig. 9). Spread the clay on the surface, in order to obtain a thin layer, similar to a paper sheet. First press with your fingers, then with a rudimentary cardboard spatula (fig. 10), and remove the clay so that the colour of the surface can emerge (fig. 11 fig. 12): traces, signs, expressive drawings come to life just under your fingers (fig. 13 fig. 14).
Speed, rapidity, orientation, right pressure, lightness, simplicity and sensuality create engaging possibilities to share, allowing deeper expressive drives to emerge (fig. 15 fig. 16 fig. 17 fig. 18). At the end of this process, and after having carefully washed your hands, they will feel soft and mellow, due to the nutritional value of clay. This therapeutic-artistic journey contributes to ease tension and create new possibilities for sociality in a harmonic context and helps lifting your moods (fig. 19).