Mental health is an important topic to local potter, Callie Beller Diesel. Growing up there was a lot of substance abuse and stress in her family.
“It’s not always easy to find somebody that you can reach out to,” Callie says. “A lot of the time your family and friends may not be actually equipped to deal with any of your problems.”
In 2007, Callie’s father committed suicide. She suspects he may have used Distress Centre services at some point leading up to that.
“The work that [Distress Centre does] is pretty near and dear and close to my heart,” she says.
When she saw an ad looking for someone to design a set of mugs for Distress Centre Calgary, she prayed the job wasn’t taken. She took a photo of the ad and applied for it as soon as she got home.
She got the job and created a set of uniquely hand-crafted mugs.
Each aspect of the mug, from the texture, to the base, to the text overlaying it was designed with mental health and the importance of listening in mind.
“The imprint on the mug, which reads ‘everyone is heard,’ is very subtle and fades softly into the background,” Callie explains. “You have to be mindful, and seek this message out in order to read it. It reminds us that you have to listen for everyone to indeed, be heard.”
She created many places to place the fingers. She pictured someone fidgeting nervously as they opened their heart to the person listening knowing that it could be a friend or one of Distress Centre’s volunteers on the other end of the line.
The base of the mug is quite stable, but looks like it might not be, reflecting the instability someone in crisis might feel. Distress Centre is honored to now own a collection of Callie’s custom made mugs.
You can find Callie and her beautiful creations at Market Collective at the Chinese Cultural Centre from December 12-14, 2014. You can also shop in her Etsy store and visit her web site.