WELLSVILLE — Though she retired from elementary school teaching more than a decade ago, Wellsville’s Elaine Hardman hasn’t stopped developing opportunities to educate the masses.
Hardman, who has mastered the art of designing ceramics during the last 30-plus years, now uses those artisan skills to teach people how to make practical items — clay bowls, cups and other dishware — and decorative pieces — tin sculptures and jewelry — at workshops held at churches, the David A. Howe Library and other group-friendly locations in Wellsville.
“I feel strongly that it's important for people to make things,” she said. “It's practical experience in problem solving and it's what people have done since they first came to value their thumbs.”
Using recyclable materials is also key when teaching anyone how to handcraft pieces, Hardman said.
She’ll be showing individuals — those 15 years and older — how to create a flower using aluminum can parts during a workshop being held from 6-9 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 26 in the kitchen of the United Methodist Church, on the corner of Maple and Madison streets, in Wellsville.
Hardman believes individuals should disassemble items to see how they work, which is the theme of her upcoming workshop, Exploring with Screwdrivers.
The workshop, which is geared toward youth, will be from 10 a.m. to noon, Feb. 16, at First Trinity Lutheran Church. Participants — those ages 9 to 13 years old — will be taking apart phones and keyboards.
“Rather than making, we'll take apart because it's good to know some of what is on the inside of something we use all the time,” she said.
Those who are interested in either workshop can register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
While Hardman spends a great deal of time teaching others, she still finds opportunities to throw clay which she molds into dishware, jars, vases, mini purses and animal banks and then she sells from her in-home studio on Riverside Drive.
She’s presenting some these handcrafted creations throughout this month at Steuben Trust Bank on Route 417 in Wellsville. A reception to celebrate her work will be from 5-7 p.m. Thursday at the bank.
(Contact reporter Darlene M. Donohue at email@example.com)