Senior Moments

Angels Among Us

Fran Coutinho working on her angel sculpture


by Nancy L. Drawe



April 15, 2009 — Carol Mecagni’s Pottery Class — squishy, gooey, wet clay all over your hands — under your fingernails, on your smock; that what it’s all about! Every Tuesday morning at 9:30 up at the Senior Center, a group of women get together to create their own special “works of art” by using clay formed into shapes by hand or by using the potters wheel.  


Carol’s class is very popular and by no means is she a stranger at the senior center.  She started by teaching an “Art Sampler” class to the seniors where each week would be something different such as watercolors, acrylics, still life and printmaking.   She thought maybe working with clay would be a nice change for one week, but everyone liked it so much that they requested that pottery be offered as the weekly class.


Carol, who has been a tapestry weaver for 20 years and a trained painter, was also the art teacher at Hopkinton High School for 10 years.  She really enjoys teaching the seniors because it’s at a much slower pace.  “The high school kids have much more on their minds these days and are always so busy,” she said.  “The seniors are so appreciative,” said Carol.   Sometimes she will have a sample of a piece she thinks the class might like to make, but she said that most of the time they come up with their own ideas. READ MORE...


It took about three years to accumulate all the necessary tools and supplies to teach pottery at the center.  The potter’s wheel was acquired by a grant from the Hopkinton Cultural Council in conjunction with the MA Cultural Council.   The kiln was donated by Liz Eidlitz. 


One of the seniors, Fran Coutinho, was having a great time working on her sculpture of an angel.  “She’s just coming to life,” said Fran.  Her son Paul asked if she could make an angel for him and since he had just moved into a new house, this was going to be a housewarming present. 


Dinny Potenza was working on the potter’s wheel.  Her first thrown piece was a flower pot and now she’s making a bowl.  She said she might fill it with Cadbury Easter eggs or maybe some M & M’s.    Lillian Tolstrup was busy mixing up the glaze she was going to use on one of her many beautiful pottery pieces.    Carol set up a display for me of all the finished pieces done by the class members.  There was all kinds of shapes and colors!  Bowls, plates, vases, figurines, little plaques—some done on the potters wheel and some hand sculpted.  Each piece had it’s own special little qualities; everything was so pretty!


Evangeline “Van” Karagianis, 91 years young, loves working with the clay.   “It brings me back to my youth, said Van.  “Nobody can scold you for playing in the mud.  It feels good to get dirty again.”     Fran, also 91, said she is a retired nurse and never liked getting her hands dirty.  “Now I don’t care,” she said.   She really likes working on figurines.  “It’s a fun class,” she said. 

If you’d like to try your hand at pottery, the class is every Tuesday morning at 9:30.  The cost is only $2.00 and covers all supplies.  You don’t have to have any kind of knowledge of working with clay—just shop up and Carol will get you started.  Soon, you too will have your own special glazed pottery piece to show off to your family and friends! 


That’s it for now, so if you have any comments or suggestions, you can email me:  Until next time, have a great week! 


The Hopkinton News TM   online only at

©2008 All Rights Reserved.