Mountain Pointe High School’s Clay Club

Members of Mountain Pointe High School’s Clay Club recently hosted some seniors to learn the art of throwing clay.

Mountain Pointe High School students who belong to ceramics teacher Teresa Gilchrist’s Clay Club are giving back twice.

First, the students recently taught some residents from nearby Mountain Park Senior Community how to throw clay and make ceramic bowls.

The second act of generosity will come Feb. 28-29, when those and hundreds of other bowls made by students are sold at the annual Empty Bowls event, benefitting United Food Bank and Tempe Community Action. The event raised more than $20,000 last year alone.

Gilchrist, a teacher at Mountain Pointe for the last five years, said the seniors enjoyed their visit to the school but it wasn’t all fun and games.

“I kept stressing how difficult it is at the potter’s wheel because you need to be able to sit on a stool and need a lot of strength,” she said in explaining how the seniors learned to “throw clay.”

That’s the term for putting a lump of clat and centering it on the wheel – which “involves really using a lot of your body strength to make sure that the clay’s even on the potter’s wheel before you can turn it into a pot.”

While the senior community wants to make the visits a regular thing, Gilchrist said she would like to have it be a continuing thing, “but it’s hard for all us because a lot of the kids have jobs after school and we have finals coming up.”

 So she thinks she has a solution to make everyone happy:

“I think what we might do is make some bowls and bring them over to the senior center and have the seniors paint them.”

“I think it was a lot more difficult than they thought it would be,” Gilchrist said. “That’s usually how it is with the wheel because you’re watching somebody that’s done it for a long time and they make it look easy. But what they had was a lot of fun and they were very grateful for us and the students.”

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.