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Riderwood’s Art of Ceramics Combines Creativity and Possibility

November 18, 2016

Silver Spring, Maryland—Lifelong learning opportunities abound for residents of Riderwood.  

This year, there were 88 enrollees for the Art of Ceramics classes offered at the Erickson Living retirement community, via the Prince George's Community College system and taught by resident Won Yin.

And for two days, the work of many of these residents was on display as the group held its Art of Ceramics Annual Exhibition on November 13-14.  Fellow residents, family, friends and visitors from the greater community attended the event. 

One of the exhibitors was Clark Garner, a ten-year resident of Riderwood.  A Professor Emeritus of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell University, Mr. Garner displayed hand-crafted jewelry pieces and a sculpture of his grandson, Cullen.  He joined the group as a novice working with the medium of clay.  But through weekly class attendance and practice, his pieces were among the colorful plates, bowls, lamp stands, mirrors and other unique designs showcased at the exhibit.

"My enjoyment of ceramics comes from the satisfaction of setting a goal and achieving it," described Mr. Garner.  "And then there's the social aspect of the classes.  Being with friends who share a common interest is terrific."

Mr. Garner played a valuable role in the overall success of the event.  He used his interior design expertise to transform a crafts room into a showroom filled with ambience fitting for Art of Ceramics.

"With a meticulous eye, Clark did a wonderful job of enhancing the artists' work with a beautiful color scheme and a light-hearted theme of origami cranes throughout that brought smiles to those in attendance," stated Mrs. Yin.

With a BS in Design from the University of Michigan and a Master's in Art Education from the University of Maryland, College Park, Mrs. Yin taught ceramics in the Montgomery County Public School system.  Her former home in Silver Spring featured a studio and reduction kiln.

The opportunity to work with her peers in Art of Ceramics is most rewarding, she describes.

"Although we develop technical and design skills, there's nothing like seeing unique ideas come to life.  I may know a little bit more about clay, but these residents are my teachers, too" she said.  "Whether it's gratitude or patience, I learn from everyone in the class, and together, we're always helping each other and thinking about the next project.  It's as if we move as one."

Roland Reed is a participant...with experience.  He has taken the course for two years at Riderwood, but has been involved in ceramics since 1972.  At Catholic University for 18 years, Mr. Reed served as an associate professor and director of the master's program in playwriting

"I literally started with a 25-pound block of clay when I was at the University of South Carolina," recalled Mr. Reed.  "I enjoy the process.  Thinking of an idea, designing it and molding the clay with my hands.  It's a great feeling.  We are fortunate to have the resources at Riderwood to pursue our passion and a teacher such as Won guiding us with positive energy."

That enthusiasm shines forth from Mrs. Yin.

"What a privilege it is to enjoy my golden years doing what I love most -ceramics - with so many fellow artists at Riderwood," she noted.

About Riderwood:  Riderwood is one of nineteen continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living.  Located in Silver Spring, Maryland, the scenic 120-acre campus is home to more than 2,500 residents.  Riderwood is the ideal greater Washington, D.C. retirement destination offering a true sense of community, convenience beyond compare and a sensible financial structure. 

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