Saturday, April 28, 2018

UB's Day of Hope

Today was a big day in our Hearts of Hope chapter. Today the Stratford and Newtown chapters joined forces with the University of Bridgeport for a Day of Hope. We ran a 4 hour workshop where the participants were able to see the process of what it takes to make a Heart from start to finish. Participants were able to see the blocks of clay rolled out into slabs, and then they were able to turn those slabs into the actual hearts. After spending some time in the Clay Room, participants then could go to the Painting Room and paint a heart, and if they had time, get involved in the process of making a coloring book heart. By the looks of the faces in the photos, everyone had a great time!

click on a photo to be taken to a larger view

Our studio for the afternoon.

We have been very blessed to have Geoff here to help us. He is an adjunct professor at UB who teaches ceramics, among other things. Today he gave us a few pointers on using his massive slab roller, massive compared to ours. 

While we were here, we put a few hundred hearts in the kiln to bake. We also put a few glazed mini hearts in on our new bead tree, sadly, I don't have any pictures of that. 

We are all ready to go in the clay room!

Max  brought us down the stampers that were printed by his students on the 3D printer. How cool are we! Of course, today would not have been possible without the support of Max Shangle. Max Shangle is the Dean of Shintaro Akatsu School of Design at UB. He has gone above and beyond to forge a partnership with our Hearts of Hope chapter and Shintaro Akatsu School of Design. He made today possible!
This is the photograph from the press release when Max was appointed to the position of Dean.
All set in the Painting Room!

 We also set up a station to teach participants how we make our Coloring Book Hearts. 

It was such a pleasure to work with Olivia. She is a member of the Student Government here at UB, but what makes working with her even more special is that she is one of my former 5th grade students. She was an amazing girl who has turned into an amazing young woman. 

 We never could have done it without Patti's expertise in the Clay Room. We owe her a giant bottle of Aleve and a gift certificate for a back massage. 

The Bridgeport Police officers that we met from our delivery to their station and from our Coffee with a Cop program dropped by to show their support, make some clay hearts, and pay it forward by painting hearts, too. We love our Bridgeport Officers and can't wait to schedule our next Coffee with a Cop event!

Denise Spada and Martine Sixto from UB came by to try their hands at making clay hearts. Denise was our first contact at UB. She is one of the advisors of the Student Government Association. She is the person who invited us to come in and paint in the Marina Hub Dining Hall back on December 1, 2017. She passed our name along to the people organizing the Martin Luther King Day of Service in January. She also put is in contact with Max. Without her, we would not have this wonderful relationship with UB. We are forever grateful for her and  her generous spirit!
Vince Santilli, Olivia, and Nikita. Vince is the CEO of Homes for the Brave. Olivia and Nikita are Senators representing the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design in the University of Bridgeport's Student Government Association.  Olivia helped us plan and run today's event. Olivia chose Homes for the Brave and the Mercy Learning Center to be the recipients of the hearts that were painted at today's event. 

And so it begins...

If you have ever baked cookies and used cookie cutters, you will find making our hearts out of clay is not much different. In fact, you are the perfect candidate to help us make more hearts in the future!  

Patti giving some lessons to the officers.

But don't fear, even those who never baked a cookie in their lives found it quiet easy to master.

Meanwhile in the Painting Room...we had lots of people and all the best music...and sometimes there was quite the sing-a-long going on...