Pots for Puerto Rico: Clinton high school students give back to hurricane victims

Students at Clinton High School have spent the past few weeks learning how to make pottery. All of the proceeds are going to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, many of whom are still without the basic necessities to carry on with every day life.

Posted: Nov 29, 2017 11:32 PM
Updated: Nov 30, 2017 1:40 PM

CLINTON, N.Y. -The minute Hurricane Maria stopped spinning, ideas from Clinton High School's art department began.

"It was terrifying, it took probably a good week to week and a half before we heard from any family," Mindy Pavone, a Clinton High School art teacher from Puerto Rico said. "It still takes a lot to get things down there that they need."

"Just sitting around hearing about all this, and I felt a little helpless," Victoria Villaverde, an art student said.

Pavone wanted to start an art-themed fundraiser, and with collaborative help from a local business, she began "Pots for Puerto Rico."

For the past few weeks, the students learned how to make pottery, studying from Jonathan Woodward, owner of Clinton Pottery.

Woodward donated 200 mugs and bowls, teaching students how to spin, glaze and shape pottery. Every piece of the first batch was sold, prompting students to create another 200 items.

"You wouldn't think it's that hard to put a handle on a mug, but you get the hang of it as you go," Bonnie Bush, another student said. "We just got the cups and we worked together and we have to shape it and make sure you hook it on right or it'll fall off."

"You fill the bowl with the glaze and then you have to dump it out really quick," Villaverde said. "It was way more difficult than I thought it would be."

"I put the mug on the stand and I lined it up correctly and I pulled the lever and it's stamped," student Ashley McNichol said of the process used to mark products with a specially-designed logo.

"I thought this might be fun and it just escalated," Woodward said. "They all treated it very seriously. I think they understood the cause. It was a valid cause and they executed the work really nicely."

The mugs are sold throughout the district and at different village functions. All of the proceeds are donated to a Puerto Rican church, and Pavone was selective in choosing an organization directly benefiting victims.

"I wanted to make sure that whatever we chose, it was going to go directly into the hands of the people that needed it," Pavone said. "So there was a church, it's a Baptist church, getting help from FEMA and UNICEF going into the areas in the mountains."

There are only around 30 pieces left and as of Wednesday night, they've raised more than $3,000.

"I'm surprised at how many were created in such a small amount of time," McNichol said.
 
"Standing up and making these mug handles, I remember I got into my car and I was like 'I'm so tired,'" Bush said. "But it was like one of the best kinds of tired that you can feel because you know you did something important."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2110004

Reported Deaths: 53574
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings28059410456
Queens2773009958
Suffolk2010363400
Nassau1836493175
Bronx1835056589
New York1382724500
Westchester1296642291
Erie895791807
Richmond749771841
Monroe689761110
Orange48312843
Rockland46944963
Onondaga38931677
Dutchess29472445
Albany24699356
Oneida22619514
Niagara20035373
Broome18623366
Saratoga15364168
Ulster13908257
Schenectady13202205
Rensselaer11229142
Putnam1060692
Chautauqua8951145
Chemung7761136
Oswego762292
Ontario740693
Steuben6952145
Sullivan667376
St. Lawrence664096
Cayuga633792
Jefferson613668
Wayne578370
Cattaraugus572091
Genesee5435124
Herkimer5187109
Clinton483533
Madison456289
Livingston452060
Fulton442291
Tompkins434652
Montgomery4254126
Columbia4064104
Cortland392662
Tioga383063
Warren365857
Wyoming358253
Allegany355587
Chenango349976
Otsego346247
Greene340379
Washington316255
Orleans311883
Lewis280836
Franklin256312
Delaware238138
Seneca201156
Schoharie169217
Essex159326
Yates117826
Schuyler107514
Hamilton3132
Unassigned9315
Out of NY0250
Utica
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 47°
Oneonta
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 50°
Herkimer
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 47°
Old Forge
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 47°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
18 Facets of Summer Photo Contest brought to you by Herkimer Diamond Mines
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Alivana Ready for Summer Giveaway
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve