Ceramics become popular pastime

Ceramics has always been an outlet for senior citizens to have fun. It seems the days for bingo and checkers are out.

Tommie Stroy, 74, from Jacksonville, has been making ceramics for years.

“I find ceramics to be a way of filling up time that I would spend watching television or sitting outside,” Stroy said.

This is the same passion many senior citizens have toward ceramics, and arts and crafts in general.

“Arts and crafts have always been an interest, but I didn’t have the time,” said Story, a retired school bus driver, “but now that I have the time, I try to do as much a possible.”

Stroy has worked on pieces from cats to hats. Many times the focus is to sell to the general public, but Memphis, Tenn., native, Dorothy Rayford, 67, gives her creations away as gifts.

“I like to give the things I make in class to my neighbors as Christmas presents, ” Rayford said.

Leatrice Tucker, professor of arts, thinks ceramics is very popular for seniors because many have been putting it off for many years, but now they have the chance to do it.

“Arts, in general, are as popular as football,” Tucker said. “In the classes I have taught, the senior citizens excel with the others.” She says the age of senior citizens in her class ranges from 60 to 70, with some in their eighties.

The Edenbrook Nursing Home allows an instructor to teach arts and craft, including ceramics, every other Tuesday.

“They usually make wall hangers, beads and table pieces,” said Genevieve Achhamer, director of First Impressions at Edenbrook Nursing home “They seem to enjoy it.”

Ceramics is an alternative for citizens over 65. Seniors are continuing to enjoy life by staying active. The trend gives the older community an opportunity to express themselves through art, and invest time in something they like.