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Up to Parr: 'The minute I touched the clay, the passion was born'

Art Therapy By Donna Hope Blas

Donna Parr, that is. Meet the potter.

This California native’s journey to Guam began in 1996 when her husband got stationed on Guam. Rather than head back to their home of record, they made Guam their home. Thank you for your service to our country. Why’d you stay? Donna shared, “We stayed for our love of the island and its people.”

Hmmm. What is a potter? A person who makes pottery. Pottery goes back to ancient times. Did you know archaeologists can determine so many things based on the pottery pieces they may find when they dig? The Potter’s wheel did not come until later though. According to the University of Colorado, later was around 3250 B.C. Prior to the use of the wheel they used their hands and a coiling method to shape the clay.

Donna Parr

About four years ago, Donna started doing pottery as just a “thing to do” with her best friend, Amy Nagel. They wanted to make Christmas ornaments. When the clay shipment came in they began experimenting.

“The minute I touched that clay, my passion was born," Donna said. “It has been a healing and creative experience. I had been grieving for several years over the loss of my beloved mother.”

Donna is proof that making pottery is great therapy. You’re physically using your hands to punch, knead and throw. That alone can relieve you of the week's frustrations. In fact, Picasso was a ceramist. He started in the late 1940s. According to Artnet, Picasso found his summers of creating ceramic artworks in France to be a “respite from the more strenuous demands of painting.”

Donna’s pottery teacher conveniently lived down the street from her. For two years, she took pottery classes at Sanctuary Studio Ar by Dixie Cartelli, who recently relocated back to the mainland U.S. She will be missed. Isn’t that interesting though? The potter’s apprentice becomes the master.

Everything is about timing, isn’t it? I’ve come to trust in God’s timing these days. It couldn’t be more perfect. Sometimes we don’t understand it when it’s happening but we always come to realize later how everything was carefully and precisely planned for that moment in the future. It’s true we have to lean not on our own understanding.

“It’s been a rewarding journey for me,” Donna said. “I have learned so much in a relatively short time. This journey never ends as there is always something amazing and new to create. I’m having the time of my life.”

If you ever need a custom-made gift, Donna’s your gal! She can make anything with clay. Don’t miss her holiday ornaments. They make great gifts. They are sure to bring the island Christmas vibes to your friends and family. Follow Donna on her Facebook group page “Angelish Art.” This is where she shares her love of pottery and painting.

Donna Hope Blas is an artist and certified Therapeutic Art Life coach. She is also an entrepreneur. Send comments to:

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