Back in March, I had the honor and pleasure of meeting with a wonderful group of women who have all come to Richmond from all over the world. Many of these women have come to Richmond to support their husbands who are getting their PhD's or Masters at VCU. Many of them have doctorate or masters degrees themselves and have also found jobs in Richmond.
These ladies are connected through a weekly meeting organized by a couple of local Richmond women who saw a need for these international women to have more community during their time here. I recently met one of the ladies from Richmond who started the group, and she invited me to come and share about my work as a potter.
I met with them on a Tuesday morning in March and after a discussion about what I do and how and why I make pottery, we made pinch pots together! It was fantastic.
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And these ladies ROCKED IT. They are all so creative and as soon as I finished the demo on how to make the pots they jumped RIGHT in. No hesitation. Most of the women made multiple pots and they were all so excited about their creations. It made my day/week/month seeing these women excited about creating together with clay. Several of the women have a lot of experience baking with pastry dough, and they shared that making with the clay felt very similar to this. They all covered their pots with intricate designs and I fired and glazed them the following week.
I was excited to hand their finished pieces off to the lady who leads the group recently, and I hope the women love their pieces! They are beautiful. It was a really nice change of pace for me to create with a different group of people who I'd never met and most of whom are still learning English and about the American culture in Richmond. It really opened my eyes to the fact that there are so many needs in my own community that I'm not even aware of. I didn't know about these women until a couple weeks before we met, and it may sound naive, but I hadn't even thought about a group of individuals in their particular situations being in my own city before then. This experience has inspired me to not only become more involved with such outreach programs, but to also seek out needs in my community that I'm not aware of and who's needs aren't being met. I would encourage others to do the same. Getting out of your comfort zone and lending a hand can lead to great things - the power of community is a wonderful thing to experience.
So thankful for Ann Douglas Enghauser for connecting me with this group led by Mary Douglas Enghauser and a couple of her friends!