Pottery classes evoke feelings of warmth, fun


October 08, 2002|By Dana Klosner-Wehner | Dana Klosner-Wehner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE STUDENTS in Nancy Joy's classes love making pottery. That's one of the reasons she calls her school "Joy of Pottery."

The classes, taught in a basement studio in Joy's Oakland Mills home, project a feeling of warmth. Students laugh and joke while working on pottery wheels next to a kiln in one part of the room, or glazing their work in an area that also serves as the laundry room. The homey atmosphere is part of the reason Joy's students feel so comfortable.

Kristan King-Lewman of Ellicott City has been working in Joy's studio for two years.

"The intimacy in this studio is wonderful," King-Lewman said, as she glazed a Southwestern chip-and-dip bowl. "You make close friends almost instantly."

But the friendships aren't the only thing King-Lewman loves about the pottery class.

"Pottery is just the opposite of today's lifestyle," she said. "It's a slow process that takes a lot of patience, where everything else in life is moving so fast. It's really a form of meditation. I've heard lots of people say they use it for a stress reliever."

King-Lewman has been a potter for many years, working in New York before coming to Joy's studio. But some of Joy's students are discovering a talent for making pottery.

"Pottery was something I always wanted to try," said Terry Myer of Highland. "I never thought of myself as artistic. I can't draw, I can't paint, I can't build things - but this, I can do. I simply go for a ride with the clay and see what happens."

Joy says that learning the technique of throwing pots on a wheel takes a lot of determination and practice. Her students say she is very encouraging.

"I wanted to be able to throw really nice pots," said Sherri Clark of Harper's Choice, who started with Joy about a year ago. "When I started, I would end up with fallen clay. I almost gave up. Nancy convinced me to come in on a Saturday, work by myself and try bowls. Now my specialty is bowls."

Joy, 74, has been teaching pottery in Columbia since 1969 and in her home for 30 years.

"I just love my students," she said. "I love watching them grow and discover their abilities." Joy began studying pottery after she saw a man at a fair throwing a pot on a wheel.

"I thought, `I want to do that,'" she said.

She moved from California to New York and studied pottery there at the Craft Students League. She has also studied at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington and at other schools.

"There's a sense of accomplishment if you can learn how to do it well," she said.

Indeed, Joy's house is full of things she has created, including tile floors, all the dishes, some lamps and a wall of display pieces.

"When you have created something, it's a reflection of yourself," Joy said.

Her students will sell their work at the Joy of Pottery booth at the Oakland Mills International Fall Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the village center.

Information: Joy of Pottery, 410-992-9851.

More than crafts

In addition to craft booths and representatives from community organizations, the Oakland Mills International Fall Festival will feature entertainment by the Dinosaur Babies puppet show; the Blues Man; guitarist Bruce Casteel; the Goldenaires, a band of about 35 senior citizens that plays everything from ragtime to swing music; and the Kangaroo Kids, a team of Howard County children performing jump-rope tricks.

For the kids, a free Moon Bounce, games, face-painting and henna tattoos will be available. A fashion show is planned, with residents wearing the native dress of their country of origin. Admission is free.

Information: 410-730-4610.

Visiting broadcasters

The C-SPAN School Bus will visit our neighborhood today and stop at Oakland Mills High School from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and at the east Columbia library from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The 45-foot motor coach - a traveling TV production studio and media demonstration center - provides a firsthand look at the inner workings of the network's 24-hour public affairs programming. Free 20-minute tours of the bus will be offered to students and teachers after it stops at the high school. The public is invited to tour the bus while it is at the library.

Racing readers

Congratulations to the two Stevens Forest Elementary School children who completed the Howard County Library summer reading program "Race to Read."

Second-grader Weston Hart and fourth-grader Wallid Kanaan finished the race.

Free immunizations

The Howard County Health Department is offering free immunizations at area high schools for infants, children and adolescents.

A parent or a guardian must accompany the child to the clinic and must bring the child's immunization record.

Clinics will be held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow at Oakland Mills High School, 9410 Kilimanjaro Road, Columbia, and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 23 at Hammond High School, 8800 Guilford Road, Columbia,

Information: 410-313-7500.

`Walk for Paws'

Take a walk with your dog from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday along Lake Elkhorn and raise money for Animal Advocates of Howard County.

Information: 410-880-2488.

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