“People, I want mugs!" said art teacher Kerry Sloat. "And handles! Who can make handles?"
Against a backdrop of upbeat music, Sloat was supervising 25 pizza-filled art students as they turned lumps of clay into plates, bowls, mugs, butter dishes, napkin holders and other functional dinnerware for the annual "Throw-a-thon" last Friday.
Their nine hours of work will ultimately result in more than 100 pieces for sale at the school's annual Arts Night on May 17. Proceeds will benefit the Womens Resource Center, which assists survivors of domestic abuse. Typically the "Throw-a-thon" raises between $500 and $600, but have been as high as $900.
Sloat got the idea for the event after attending a national arts educators conference. Originally, it was part of the "Empty Bowls" project where the students made bowls and donated them, along with soup made by Family Consumer Sciences students, to local soup kitchens. Eventually, Sloat wanted students to be able to "handbuild" the pieces as well as use the wheel so she expanded the marathon to include all dinnerware items. As for choosing the Women's Resource Center as a beneficiary, Sloat was inspired by her mother.
"I grew up with single mom who raised three kids, so I saw a person who had to work really hard," she says. "Trying to help other women, knowing that their circumstances are tough and they really need some resources is important to me."