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Hilton Pottery holds bowl-making marathon for charity

  • Clara Kohrman, 17, of Whately, left, Noah Lind Hornick, 17, of Amherst, and potter Tiffany Hilton share a laugh as Hornick throws on the potter's wheel Oct. 14, 2017, during a bowl-making marathon at Hilton's studio in the Florence Arts & Industry Building to benefit the Amherst Survival Center's Empty Bowls Dinner fundraiser.  In honor of National Clay Week Open Studio, a nationwide event celebrating clay and community, Hilton made a commitment to donate some 200 handmade bowls for the dinner, held in March. She opened her studio on both Saturday and Sunday for whomever wanted to help create the bowls. "I feel lucky to be in the position to share my skills and resources with a whole new group of people," said Hilton. "This is what I have to give back." Of the community effort, she said "When I saw all six wheels going at once with six beautiful bowls happening, I thought, 'It doesn't get better than this.'" GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Susan Elena Esquivel of Florence throws on the potter's wheel Oct. 14, 2017, during a bowl-making marathon at Tiffany Hilton's studio in the Florence Arts & Industry Building to benefit the Amherst Survival Center's Empty Bowls Dinner fundraiser.  GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Potter Tiffany Hilton, center left, assists as Danae DiNicola of Greenfield throws on the potter's wheel Oct. 14, 2017, during a bowl-making marathon at Hilton's studio in the Florence Arts & Industry Building to benefit the Amherst Survival Center's Empty Bowls Dinner fundraiser.  GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Susan Elena Esquivel of Florence throws on the potter's wheel Oct. 14, 2017, during a bowl-making marathon at Tiffany Hilton's studio in the Florence Arts & Industry Building to benefit the Amherst Survival Center's Empty Bowls Dinner fundraiser.  GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Noah Lind Hornick, 17, of Amherst, makes fine adjustments to a bowl fresh off the potter's wheel Oct. 14, 2017, during a bowl-making marathon at Tiffany Hilton's studio in the Florence Arts & Industry Building to benefit the Amherst Survival Center's Empty Bowls Dinner fundraiser.  GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Studio assistants Alyssa Robb of Northampton, left, and Alexis Arcaro of Conway weigh out clay Oct. 14, 2017, during a bowl-making marathon at Tiffany Hilton's pottery studio in the Florence Arts & Industry Building to benefit the Amherst Survival Center's Empty Bowls Dinner fundraiser. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Potter Tiffany Hilton, left, looks on as Clara Kohrman, 17, of Whately, throws on the potter's wheel Oct. 14, 2017, during a bowl-making marathon at Hilton's studio in the Florence Arts & Industry Building to benefit the Amherst Survival Center's Empty Bowls Dinner fundraiser. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Freshly thrown bowls line the table at Tiffany Hilton's pottery studio Oct. 14, 2017 during a bowl-making marathon in the Florence Arts & Industry Building to benefit the Amherst Survival Center's Empty Bowls Dinner fundraiser. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Noah Lind Hornick, 17, of Amherst, left, looks on as Clara Kohrman, 17, of Whately, throws on the potter's wheel Oct. 14, 2017, during a bowl-making marathon at Tiffany Hilton's studio in the Florence Arts & Industry Building to benefit the Amherst Survival Center's Empty Bowls Dinner fundraiser. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Potter Tiffany Hilton, left, assists as Greta Rainville of West Springfield throws on the potter's wheel Oct. 14, 2017, during a bowl-making marathon at Hilton's studio in the Florence Arts & Industry Building to benefit the Amherst Survival Center's Empty Bowls Dinner fundraiser. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Potter Tiffany Hilton, front right, demonstrates how to throw on the potter's wheel Oct. 14, 2017, during a bowl-making marathon at Hilton's studio in the Florence Arts & Industry Building to benefit the Amherst Survival Center's Empty Bowls Dinner fundraiser.  GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY



@DHGCrosby
Sunday, October 15, 2017

FLORENCE – Making 200 bowls from scratch is no small feat.

That’s why potter Tiffany Hilton called in helping hands from all over the Valley to her Florence Arts and Industry Building studio.

Together, the artist and volunteers got a serious jumpstart on Hilton’s commitment to provide the 200 bowls by March 19 for the Amherst Survival Center’s 10th annual Empty Bowls Dinner fundraiser.

“It’s never something I would have taken on by myself,” Hilton said of the undertaking. She’s donated bowls to the yearly dinner over the past decade, but never this many at once.

Sunlight trickled in the large mill building windows late Saturday, as the steady hum from each potter’s wheel merged with conversation and laughter.

In part, the marathon was held in honor of National Clay Week Open Studio, a nationwide event celebrating clay and community, said Hilton. She estimated over 100 volunteers had contributed over Saturday and Sunday combined.

“When I saw all six wheels going at once with six beautiful bowls happening, I thought, ‘It doesn’t get better than this,’” said Hilton.

She is thankful for the support, as there is still much work to be done. Hilton must “baby-sit” the bowls as they dry, trim the bottoms, and then wait until the vessels are fully dry before firing once, glazing, and firing a second time.

“I feel lucky to be in the position to share my skills and resources with a whole new group of people,” said Hilton.

“This is what I have to give back.”

Sarah Crosby can be reached at scrosby@gazettenet.com.