Potter with Lincoln roots helps kids craft creations
Candace Hensley, left, a professional potter, helps first-grader student Laurissa Jarmen form a pot on a potters wheel Jan. 24 at Stanford Elementary School as another student watches. Hensley is a Stanford native and Centre College graduate. (January 31, 2013)
Candice Hensley attended Stanford Elementary School herself when she was in grade school. Now, she runs her own pottery studio in Asheville, N.C.
For four days last week, Hensley taught elementary school classes about pottery-making and helped them all make their own miniature "pinch" or "coil" pots.
The classes came together after art teacher Jane Barnett saw some of Hensley's pots on display at Coleman's Drugstore in downtown Stanford, Hensley said.
Pottery business is slow in Asheville during the winter, so she had come home for a visit, she said.
Schedules lined up just right to allow Hensley to become a guest teacher for a week.
Stanford Elementary's Family Resource Center and PTO helped make the classes a reality. By the end of the week, the goal was to have around 520 kids come through and make pots, Hensley said.
Thursday afternoon, Hensley was easily holding the attention of Missy Harmon's first-grade class as she crafted a pot on her spinning potter's wheel and then turned it into a heart-shaped bowl.
Hensley said she really values the education she got in Lincoln County, which is where teachers helped her learn the value of art.
"It's really awesome to me to let kids see that they can grow up in Stanford and become an artist," she said.
Hensley, who returns to Asheville today, also planned to do some one-on-one work with advanced students at Lincoln County High School earlier this week.
She began working with pottery about 10 years ago, when she was attending Centre College, and now her studio is her "bread and butter," she said.
"I love making something that I can use," she said. "I love the relationships that develop when people find a mug that they love and drink coffee out of it every morning."