Senior biology major Emmy Thornsberry knew her love of ceramics would continue into college. But it wasn’t until October of her first year, when she happened to see a group of community members and students going into Grassman Ceramics Studio, she decided to follow along.
“I went in and they sat us down and helped us throw a bowl—at that point, I knew no one in the art department,” said Thornsberry, who is now a ceramics minor. “I knew I wanted to be a ceramics minor but didn’t know where to start, so it was a nice introduction to what ceramics is like at Georgia College.”
Since then, Thornsberry has experienced three Night of 100 Pots, an annual open house where campus and community is invited to Grassman Studios. During this time, students share their skills and demonstrate how to throw a bowl on a pottery wheel. Art Professor Sandra Trujillo began the tradition in 2008 and has hosted them every year since its inception.
“This year I wanted to combine it with the national event Empty Bowls,” said Trujillo. “So we invited artist Kowkie Durst from Portland, Oregon, who has a lot of experience with these kinds of events.”
Durst helped students like Thornsberry and junior psychology major Karly Kohler with their techniques, including how to trim and clean bowls. The bowls will then be up for grabs with a donation. Funds raised will benefit the Middle Georgia Food Bank.
Kohler spent the night leading community members through their first time working with ceramics and answering questions about the art.
“It’s always cool because when you’re teaching someone, it makes you realize how much you know—it teaches you as it teaches them,” said Kohler. “It shows you how far you’ve come and where you started, and it’s a sense of pride to show someone how to make a simple vessel or pot.”
Her time at Georgia College is leading Kohler toward a career in art therapy, a field that helped her during hard times in high school. Now, she wants to help others discover the therapeutic nature of art.
“I like working one-on-one with other people and seeing that moment when they finally get it and feel accomplished.”
Trujillo said the purpose of the night and this year’s fundraiser is to give students opportunities to grow in their art and their relationship skills.
“They develop leadership skills because they’re helping somebody. They have to articulate how to do something, they have to be patient and they have to physically demonstrate that. It’s another way of learning,” said Trujillo. “When students are in the process of the act of making, it becomes collaborative and that relationship develops stronger bonds that makes them feel like what they’re doing has some outreach.”
The Empty Bowls event will be held near the Fountain on Thursday, April 26, 2018. Students and representatives from the Middle Georgia Food Bank will be there to assist with online donations for the bowls.