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Veterans use pottery as form of therapy in West Allis

Posted at 5:53 PM, Nov 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-10 18:53:19-05

To celebrate Veterans Day, Cream City Clay Pottery School & Studio in West Allis is honoring three military veteran artists by highlighting their artwork.

The three veterans: Katharine Rueber, Matt Watkins and Stan Segalle all say pottery is more than just sculpting. It's a form of therapy. 

Rueber is a U.S. Navy Veteran that served for 10 years. In that time, she took part in Operation Enduring Freedom. She says her artwork helps her push boundaries and create pieces that made her stretch the ideas of possibility. 

"It's a very therapeutic, mindful, great thing to do," said Rueber. "It's a good environment for everyone."

Both Stan Segalle and Matt Watkins are Vietnam War Veterans who each served two tours.

Segalle says he came back from the war with PTSD and nothing seemed to make sense. For 50 years, he says he self-medicated to feel whole again. But, he says it was pottery that made him whole again. 

"It was like coming home to a family," said Segalle. "I mean everybody is great here. To create something instead of blowing it up. You know, it's creating, rather than destroying."

Watkins agrees with Segalle. Admiring his vases, he says working with clay gives him peace.

"See I'm starting to tear up," said Watkins. "People don't know what it takes."

All the veterans say it's important for every veteran to remember once you are done serving the country it's okay to take care of yourself. For each of them, pottery is self-care.