Ceramic mugs made by the children in the Residential Programs were featured during the St. Nick’s Holiday Craft Fair. The children made these mugs during their recreational periods.
Each Monday, the boys in the Vincentian Unit worked with recreation specialist Nancy Fenichel and childcare assistant team leader Elvin Selman to craft the mugs, which would be sold to attendees of the Fair.
Meanwhile, art teacher Liz Hickey worked on clay projects with several of her classes, with each child making two holiday mugs — one to give to a family member or friend during the holidays, and one that would be included in the craft sale. At the end of eight weeks, over 40 mugs were handcrafted.
Each mug was formed with clay and then sent through a kiln to form. After the mugs were fired in the kiln, they were taken out to glaze. Each child was able to glaze his or her mug in colors they chose. Once glazed, the mugs were sent through the kiln once more.
On the day of the Fair, several of the young artists were able to participate in mug sales, discussing the process with community members. They enjoyed seeing others delight in their creations. This process is rewarding for the children.
“The children like the idea that the things they have fun crafting with their hands are also valuable to the outside community. They imagine someone they don’t even know enjoying their coffee or cocoa in it later on, so they put a lot of heart into each one.”
Monies raised from the St. Nick’s Craft Fair are used for family-strengthening activities for the children (i.e., fishing trips, amusement park trips, horseback riding, etc.).