FARMINGTON — In 1995, John Bintz started a job as a counselor at Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb.
It was there that he took his first pottery class.
"I was just amazed at how flexible a medium clay was," Bintz said.
Since then, Bintz has been creating pottery, in addition to his counseling work.
His pottery will be displayed from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at Dance Castle Boutique, 213 W. Main St., during Farmington's Fall Art Walk. In addition to Bintz, various other artists will show their work at downtown Farmington venues.
Bintz described his attraction to the fine arts as similar to the reason he went into counseling. He explained that when counseling a person, he discovers where that person is at and then tries to get them onto a healthy track. Clay, he said, is similar. He works with it to find out where it will go.
Clay also allows him to explore. This exploring involves the glazing process, as well as the shaping process. Bintz uses various glazes, including macro-crysta and raku glazes.
"I kind of like them all," he said.
Bintz isn't content just doing art. He is currently working to bring pottery to his patients through a therapeutic clay program at Navajo Regional Behavioral Health Center in Shiprock.
"Part of it will be doing a process of emotional self-discovery," Bintz said.
He explained that the patients will use clay to create what they think an emotion looks like. This will enable them to discuss that emotion, he said.
The idea for the therapeutic clay program first originated while Bintz was a college counselor. He said art students who came to see him couldn't always explain their feelings verbally. So, he would ask them to draw or paint a picture. They would then bring the picture to the sessions. Bintz said this helped him visualize what the students were feeling, and it opened the lines of communication.
Bintz said he hopes his art inspires people. He said he grew up on a farm, stringing barbed wire and putting in fence posts. Yet, he was able to find an outlet in art.
"No matter what is going on around you, this is something in everybody's hands: to be creative," he said.