Hands-on experience

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Hailey Richman, 5, of Fort Dodge, is all smiles as she gets to experience working with clay on the potter’s wheel with Blanden Memorial Art Museum educator Hope Thier during the Home & Lifestyle Show Friday afternoon on the Iowa Community Central College East Campus.

The spinning lump of clay turning round and round on the potter’s wheel in the Blanden Memorial Art Museum’s booth at The Messenger Home & Lifestyle Show on the Iowa Central Community College East Campus took on many forms Friday afternoon as art educator Hope Thier let dozens of budding junior artists — and a few adult ones — give forming it a try.

Bowls, cups, oddly distorted lumps and probably a few shapes not so easily described were the result.

Hailey Richman, 5, of Fort Dodge, was one of the first to give it a try.

After a few minutes, she decided she really liked it, literally squealing with delight — twice.

Had she gotten to take the clay piece home, she was certain about what it would become.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
After trying her hand on the potter’s wheel, Opal Edwards, 11, of Glenwood, works on a drawing in the Blanden Memorial Art Museum area at the Home & Lifestyle Show Friday afternoon on the Iowa Community Central College East Campus.

“Minnie Mouse,” she said. “I just like doing creative stuff.”

Her dad, Josh Richman, decided he didn’t want to try it.

“Nope,” he said.

He was smiling though while watching his daughter.

“She could do this all day,” he said. “She loves to draw.”

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Phia Edwards, 6, of Glenwood, gets her hands covered in clay Friday afternoon at the Home & Lifestyle Show on the Iowa Community Central College East Campus while visiting the Blanden Memorial Art Museum area.

For Thier, it’s all about getting people interested in art. It’s also a way to promote and raise awareness about the art classes offered at the Blanden and to raise awareness about this summer’s Blanden Art Festival on June 9.

“We have a new small kiln,” she said. “There are more clay opportunities at the Blanden.”

Richman was demonstrating something else: the fact that the students love it.

“She didn’t want to leave,” Thier said. “They can expand on this by taking classes at the Blanden.”

It’s not just children.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Trying out the potter’s wheel isn’t just for the children, Linda Edwards, of Otho, gives it a spin with Blanden Memorial Art Museum art educator Hope Thier Friday afternoon at the Home & Lifestyle Show Friday afternoon on the Iowa Community Central College East Campus.

“It’s for all ages,” she said. “I’ve had adults, too. They tell me, ‘I haven’t done this since high school.’ Some of them squeal with delight too.”

Clay is an especially tactile medium.

“They get to feel how cool it is,” she said. “They get to feel the motion of it and feel how it yields when they work to expand it.”

She said having a booth at the Home & Lifestyle Show is a good fit for the Blanden and that the younger artists often see things there that can serve as ideas for art projects they can do at home.

Opal Edwards, 11, of Glenwood, liked her time on the potter’s wheel too.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Lifestyles Furnishings owner Dave Madsen, at left, talks with Jackie Zwiefel, of Humboldt, as she tries out one of the beds he had on display at the Home & Lifestyle Show Friday afternoon on the Iowa Community Central College East Campus.

“It felt cool,” she said. “It was interesting how you can expand it.”

“I want to be an artist when I grow up,” she added. “I like all mediums. Everything. I like to draw, I usually do people.”

Her grandmother, Linda Edwards, of Otho, had a one word answer when Thier asked her if she wanted to try the wheel.

“Yeah,” she said.

After trying it, as she was washing clay off her hands in a 5-gallon bucket of water, she realized two things.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Janis Miller, the owner of J & J Candles in Manson, peeks out from behind a pyramid of decorated boxes Friday afternoon at her booth at the Home & Lifestyle Show on the Iowa Community Central College East Campus.

“That was a lot of fun,” she said. “Maybe I should have taken my rings off. “

The Messenger Home & Lifestyle Show continues today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free and sponsored by Hy-Vee Market Grill Express.

The Iowa Central Community College East Campus is located at 2031 Quail Ave.

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