For adults undergoing cancer treatment, the cure can be as frustrating, exhausting and menacing as the disease. While undergoing chemotherapy treatment, Rhode Island artist and cancer survivor Diane Gregoire discovered a way to turn chemotherapy bottles into expressive works of art by decorating them with colorful polymer clay and filling them with a wish or message of hope. The bottles can be completed in very little time or they might take several sessions, depending on the energy of the patient and the details of the idea.
In her weekly workshops in the Rhode Island Hospital radiation oncology treatment center and the George Clinic, Gregoire leads participants in creating these Bottles of Hope. Finished bottles take the form of robots, dinosaurs-even a chimney with a birds' nest on top. One bottle became a cat with a surprise inside: several tiny fish, each made of polymer clay.
Each patient/artist may keep the newly created artwork, or may place a message of hope inside the bottle so that the recipient will know someone is having good thoughts for their health and wishes them well, even if they've never met. Whether the patient keeps the bottle or gives it away to another cancer patient, the chemotherapy bottles have been reborn as small, but powerful, doses of hope.
The Healing Arts Program at Lifespan