Library art program with clay

Charlotte Lucero and Seth Suppes work on clay projects during the “Clay for Kids” class taught at Waterville Library Feb. 1. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)


By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

Teacher Dale Loebsack works on a clay mask while children, including May Hinderer, work independently on projects. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)

There is something about working with clay that is satisfying to people of all ages. As part of its Friday afternoon art programs, Waterville Library is offering a “Clay for Kids” class each first Friday of the month.?It is taught by local potter Dale Loebsack.

On Feb. 1, a group of children ranging from early elementary school through high school age were in the back room of the library with Loebsack making masks from clay. After completing the masks the children could make other clay pieces.

Joslyn Lucero, 15, was?re-creating an owl decoration that she found on Pinterest. Other children were making small objects like a canoe, fruit and monsters.

Donna Slager, who volunteers to help at the Friday art days three times a month,?enjoyed learning about clay along with the children. The first time the class was held she made a fish out of clay.

?Some of these kids are so artistic,? Slager said.

Natalie Davis and Joslyn Lucero work on clay projects at Waterville Library Feb. 1. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)

Naoko Hinderer?made some clay decorations alongside her children. She said that she enjoys making things with her hands.

She also appreciates the organized activity for the children. With no school on Friday and the weather not very ideal for outdoor play, it can be?difficult to keep children busy on Fridays.

Khloe Suppes, who was sitting next to the Hinderer family, agreed that the class was a great opportunity.

?It?s really fun,? Suppes said. ?It?s funner than sitting in front of a screen.?

Loebsack said that after the children finish their projects at each session, he takes them back to his studio and fires them so they are ready to be glazed at the next session. Then he takes the glazed work back and fires it one more time. The children can pick up their artwork the following session.

Loebsack is impressed with the children?s work.

?Some of these guys are getting into it,? he said.

The next “Clay for Kids” session will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. March 1. Other upcoming Friday programs at the library include an Ozobot?STEM program from 10 to 11 a.m. Feb. 15 and a rock painting program from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 15. There will be a preschool music program from 10 to 11 a.m. Feb. 22 and a photography program for teens and adults from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 22.


Khloe Suppes and mother Krystle Crofcheck make some small decorations from clay. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)