Student pottery sale gives back to the community

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FARMINGTON, N.M. — The holidays are right around the corner, and for many of us, it’s time to start buying presents. But what makes a good gift even better, is when there is a good cause behind it.

In a sea of pottery, scouring for that perfect find is almost like a treasure hunt.

“We might have bowls that people can take as sets so you’ll see people saying I got four of the same so they came to get a set and they found a set,” Don Ellis, ceramics professor and potter, said.

About 1,500 bowls to search through – and most of them were sculpted by ceramic students at San Juan College.

“Every year I say do you all want to do it, and they decide whether they do it or not,” Ellis added. “It almost takes all of their semester for them to do all the bowls and all the firing we have to do but they love doing it, so we just keep doing it.”

The tradition began nearly 25 years ago.

“We have people that come back and have said you know when I was a kid and I was six years old I came every year, my parents they would come, and we would get our bowls and soup and now I am bringing my kids,” Ellis said.

The sale has always been for a special cause.

“The goal of the first charity bowl sale was to make $300 and so our goal now is to make a minimum of $10,000 to give to charity.”

When you take home a bowl for $10, it will help someone in need get a home of their own.

“For the last two years we’ve done Habitat for Humanity,” Ellis said. “For us, it’s always been a charity — a local charity, that’s very important that we choose a local charity where we know the money is going to stay here.”

Some ceramic students will start working on next year’s pottery as soon as next week.