Keene State College’s Office of Student Involvement sponsored a day of pottery painting in the student center’s Mabel Brown Room, cooperating with a local pottery and ceramics business to connect students to their community during the pandemic as a part of the Owls United initiative.
On Friday, November 6, the volunteer hosts of the Paint-Your-Own Pottery events said they arrived around 2 p.m. to begin preparing the Mabel Brown Room, with doors officially opening at 3 p.m. It was met with a warm reception, as a number of interested students gathered outside the room to wait for the activities to officially begin.
The event provided all the art supplies and materials. Teresa “Terry” Howard, owner of the Swanzey-based wholesale business Glazy For You Pottery Place, confirmed her studio provided for KSC. The activities at the campus Student Center were one in a number of Paint-Your-Own Pottery events and other community activities hosted by the business. Their business card was available for anyone interested to take, and Howard, the owner of the studio, encouraged students to visit their location.
After the doors opened, hosts instructed participants to sit and wait at the various open tables in the Mabel Brown Room, receiving instructions and an introduction before the pottery activities began. Tables seated two students each. The hosts said they waited until 3:05 to begin the instructions and art activities in case of any late arrivals.
Jessica Gagne Cloutier, Coordinator of Community Services at the Student Center, was among the hosts and further asked that interested students only paint one project while they attended before moving on to allow space for new participants, as the restrictions in place to protect against COVID-19 allowed a limited number of people in the Mabel Brown Room at one time.
The event hosts also said they held two sessions to accommodate anyone who may want to attend. The first session lasted from 3 to 5 in the afternoon and the second from 6 to 8 in the evening. When the room capacity was filled for the session, signs were placed at the door asking students to come back later.
As well as art supplies, the Young Student Center provided various snacks such as cookies, dried fruit, or cheese and cracks for attendees as well as ‘mocktail’ drinks, and speakers played quiet music throughout the day’s events. Also, Glazy For You provided coupons to participating students, and lottery drawing tickets were handed out with the paint supplies for recipients to receive a door prize of a gift certificate for the Glazy For You studio.
The owner of Glazy For You, Terry, and her granddaughter, Lily, organized the participating students and guided them through the painting process. Terry said they should choose a small number of paint colors and apply multiple coats to the pottery dishes and mugs provided. Students received three brushes each, and art supplies were cleaned by volunteers with disinfecting wipes after their use for safety.
After they are fired by Glazy For You’s kilns to finish the glaze, painted pottery made by students will be available for them to collect at an undecided date before Thanksgiving break. Students were asked to write their names and information on the bottom of their dishes and mugs for this purpose and give their email addresses when signing in to the event; participating students will receive an email when theirs is ready.
Lonnie Hiltz can be contacted at: