A truly righteous event

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A truly righteous event

Alicia Eddy throwing down

Alicia Eddy throwing down

Richard Ahlgrim

Alicia Eddy throwing down

Richard Ahlgrim

Richard Ahlgrim

Alicia Eddy throwing down

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From noon to midnight of Oct. 14, the ceramics studio had a constant flow of students creating wonderful works of art. From experts to beginners, JSC students and alumni came together to produce clay masterpieces that will be glazed and fired by ceramics students before being sold at the Holiday Sale next month.

 
The 22nd Annual Throw-a-Thon has come to a close with a huge turnout and many creative pieces. Each year, the JSC Fine Arts Department hosts Throw-a-Thon to produce ceramic sculptures that are sold at the annual Holiday Sale to raise money for a charity. The charity chosen for this year’s event was Operation Smile, which provides free cleft lip surgery to less fortunate children around the world. All the surgery requires is $240, 45 minutes and the help of volunteer medical staff. In past years, JSC has raised enough money from Throw-a-Thon to help pay for 47 surgeries total.

 
Going into Throw-a-Thon, I had almost no experience with clay sculpting and wasn’t sure how my pieces would turn out. The ceramics studio had almost every pottery wheel filled, with additional people working on the tables. There was a constant flow of people coming and going throughout the evening. Everyone was extremely welcoming and willing to help out the less experienced people, which provided a friendly, relaxed environment for artistic creation. Amy May, JSC teacher and Throw-a-Thon coordinator, greeted everyone at the door and answered all their question concerning the ceramics process.

 
While I talked with Amy May, she said that former students love being able to come back for a long studio session to “create something for the good of other people.” This event provides a social setting for former students to reunite with May and other classmates.

 
Throw-a-Thon allows people outside of ceramics classes to have a chance to practice throwing clay while helping a noble cause. For inexperienced people, May said it’s a “good way to sample [throwing] and see if you like it.” She also described how interesting it is to see a clump of earth transformed into a valuable work of art—pieces of the ground being used to pay for surgery on children that can’t afford it. It is a beautiful process and makes Throw-a-Thon a truly righteous event.

 
I was grateful when May offered to show me the basics on using a wheel and helped me along the way. Many other people in the studio offered tips, ranging from a student showing me how to hold my fingers to a former student demonstrating how to make a bowl wider. Unfortunately, even with all this help, I managed to decimate my first bowl.

 
May had been helping me out for around 15 minutes while I shaped my bowl and evened it out. She moved on to help another student just before I twitched my thumb and ended up folding the side of my bowl in half. After scrapping that bowl, I found the skill to create another one that might actually serve as a bowl when I was done with it. My bowl was added to the racks full of other pieces, thrown during the Throw-a-Thon and waiting to be glazed. An entire wall of the studio was stacked five shelves high with ceramic pieces ready to be sold.

 
The huge variety of clay pieces demonstrated the diversity and creativity of JSC students. Some of my favorites included a dragon bust, two matching fairies, “Alice in Wonderland” characters and a wizard. The Holiday Sale, coming up Nov. 16 in the Dewey common area, will have all of these clay pieces for sale. May said that the sale regularly has generated enough money for seven surgeries in the past. This year she is hoping to fund 10 surgeries if possible. Make sure you stop by the Holiday Sale and help raise money for Operation Smile.

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