Dorothy Tatnall building skills and sharing joy at Tryon Arts &Crafts

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I heard there was a student at Tryon Arts & Crafts winning hearts and sharing her new skills to help others. I stopped by Tryon Arts & Crafts on a Tuesday to meet Dorothy Tatnall and her friend Teresa Reinhart while she was working on a new project in Nancy&squo;s pottery class. What are you making there? Dorothy: It&squo;s a mobile with fish. We did one with leaves and now we&squo;re doing fish. The mobile I saw with the leaves out front was yours? Dorothy: Yes. Nancy: Dorothy&squo;s got three things in the kiln right now. They&squo;re being bisque fired. When do those come out? Nancy: The kiln is going now, so it will be Thursday. Dorothy: It does take a while. Nancy: Right now they&squo;re green ware. Green ware? Nancy: They&squo;ll be bisque ware when they come out. There&squo;s no color they are just natural clay fired once so they&squo;re hard and firm. That&squo;s what her things will look like when they come out of the kiln on Thursday. How long have you been taking classes here? Dorothy: Two years I think it is. Nancy: Dorothy made a birdhouse and some mugs like this with texture. What else did you make? Dorothy: I made a bowl and I gave it to my dad and my step-mom and they&squo;re putting their fruit in it. Good use for it. Nancy: You made the tic tac toe and the wind chimes. Cute, the tic tac toe had hearts! Dorothy: The name of it was &dquo;You Won my Heart.&dquo; Nancy: We made whistles the first time with little animals. Dorothy: It&squo;s like an animal type thing, but you put a hole in it. Oh cool! Dorothy: I made a bunny rabbit. Nancy: You did something with coils. Dorothy: I made a bowl. Nancy: Yes, a couple bowls. What else? We made some trivets and some trays. How did you get started coming here? Dorothy: We came to an open house and saw the stuff that was in the open house. I liked it, so I decided to take art classes. And you&squo;re still here two years later, so you must like it. Dorothy: Yeah. I really like it. Have you taken any other classes or have you focused on the pottery? Dorothy made a pottery sign that reads: Lapidary Rocks! for Wiley Gainus, her lapidary instructor. He said that was one of the nicest gifts he’d ever received. He was very touched. Dorothy: I took the stained glass class and I took the lapidary class with rocks and stuff. I took those classes and now I&squo;m back here. This is your favorite class. Now, you were going to show me something. Dorothy: Yeah. Beautiful! This was sold for the silent auction. The money from the auction did what? Dorothy: It was for a scholarship to here for another person with disabilities. Do they know who will get the scholarship, or is that still to be determined? Teresa: It&squo;s still going to be determined at the moment, but because Dorothy knows the community&ellip; Dorothy: Yes. Teresa: &ellip;they&squo;re going to take her recommendation as far as the first one. Now if it happens that other people want to donate to the scholarship fund then we would love that. Dorothy: Yes. Teresa: The more the merrier. So what&squo;s happening with the fish mobile you&squo;re working on now? Why are there two different colors of clay? Dorothy: This is a low fire clay, and this is a high fire clay. Will they all be part of the same mobile? Dorothy: Yes. What else is different about them? Dorothy: This one will dry white, and this will be a brownish color. Teresa: When it gets done you use different types of glazes on each one. Depending on how it&squo;s fired there are different types of glazes. Teresa: We had done the leaves before and really liked them. Dorothy: So, now we&squo;re gonna do fish. Did the leaf mobile have both types of clay? Teresa: No just the red clay. Dorothy: We didn&squo;t paint both sides. Are you going to paint both sides of the fish? Teresa: We&squo;re trying to, which is why we&squo;re trying that. I imagine if it&squo;s a flat piece it&squo;s hard to paint both sides. How are you going to do that? Dorothy: I don&squo;t know. Nancy might know. Nancy: Once these are bisqued you can glaze both sides. However, we have these stilts to hold it up. We cannot let this sit on our kiln shelf because it&squo;s like glass it just glues it right to it. Teresa: Dorothy, while I cut do you want to quiet the edges and decorate? Dorothy: Okay. What does quiet the edges mean? Dorothy: It&squo;s to make the edges smooth. That&squo;s why you have to quiet the edges because you can&squo;t have rough edges. You do that with your fingers. You dip them in the water. Teresa: She&squo;s going to show you right now. Nancy: If the edges are sharp, when they come out of the kiln they can cut you. Dorothy you&squo;re from Tryon and Teresa from Rutherfordton, so how did you meet? Teresa: I actually work for Monarch which is a company that provides services for persons with developmental disabilities. That&squo;s how we got to know each other and we&squo;ve been together about three years now. So did you grow up here in Tryon Dorothy? Dorothy: No, actually I&squo;m from Cleveland, Ohio. But your dad and step-mom live down here now. Dorothy: We used to live in Ohio, but then they moved down here and they brought me down here. How long have you been in Tryon now? Dorothy: Five years. My dad and step-mom have been here longer than I have. How&squo;s it living here compared to Cleveland? Dorothy: I miss my sister because she lives there and my nieces and nephews live there, my brother, my step-brother&ellip; You have a lot of family there. Do you go visit sometimes? Dorothy: Sometimes I do. What do you like about Tryon? Dorothy: I live in this apartment building with other people and it&squo;s across the street from IGA. You can walk to the IGA? Dorothy: You can walk to the IGA and the Dollar store too. That&squo;s handy. Teresa: She has her own job. Dorothy: I have a job at the Polk County Vocational Workshop. What do you do over there? Dorothy: Smile makers. We put together for the doctor&squo;s office for the kids the pad and cell phone holder and candy. It&squo;s a little happy pack for the kids who have to go to the doctor? Dorothy: Yeah! Basically that&squo;s what it is. That&squo;s a nice job to have. Teresa: She pays for her own classes with the money that she makes. Dorothy: Yes, I do. Wow! Teresa: When they told us about the student art show she wanted to enter right away. Then they gave us the little form that said, &dquo;Do you want to sell your pieces?&dquo; We thought it wouldn&squo;t be a bad idea to put the price of a class on it for somebody. When it sold it would be the equivalent of somebody actually being able to take a class? Dorothy: Yes. Wonderful! Teresa: Dorothy also has a spot in the community garden this year. Dorothy: We&squo;re growing squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, green peppers, yellow peppers, tomatoes, beans, corn, and flowers. That&squo;s a big garden! Teresa: Dorothy also volunteers with the community. She helped with TROT. What is TROT? Dorothy: Helping children with disabilities hold on the horse. Do you ride too? Dorothy: No. I just walk. There are other people doing it too. It&squo;s a big social event. Dorothy: Yeah, so I did that. Teresa: And the barbeque festival. What did you do for the barbeque festival? Dorothy: Recycle. I think me and my dad are going to do it this year too. We usually do it on Saturday and then Sunday we go to it. Will Tryon Arts & Crafts have something in conjunction with the festival? Nancy: We always do. We have an open house and will have a booth too and there will be demonstration. I work with younger kids spinning pottery on the wheel. Dorothy, do you think you think you&squo;ll have another piece to auction for a class again? Dorothy: I don&squo;t know. Teresa: We certainly wouldn&squo;t mind. Dorothy: No, we wouldn&squ
o;t. Dorothy Tatnall &Teresa Reinhart Teresa: We just think that other people with developmental disabilities should be able to do this too. It makes you feel good, don&squo;t it Dorothy? Dorothy: Yes. Nancy: I think that the work that Dorothy has done just over the past couple of years is an inspiration for people to hear. Dorothy: It was fun doing that stuff. Well you&squo;re looking like you&squo;re having fun here today. Thank you for sharing it with me. If you are interested in viewing Dorothy&squo;s work or would like to donate to the scholarship fund she has started please contact Tryon Arts & Crafts or stop by their gallery and heritage museum on Harmon Field Road.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox