Monica McPhillips, left, and Carol Cook of the SCC Ceramics Club check out a new shipment of greenware. The pieces will be added to the club's inventory and made available for purchase by members to transform into gifts or home decor.
SUN CITY CENTER - There's a special joy found in the act of creation, and members of one of the community's oldest organizations find such pleasure in making ceramics.
"We've been around for 51 years," said Carol Cook, president of the SCC Ceramics Club, adding that while the hobby itself is fun, membership offers goodwill and lighthearted rapport between friends. "This is a great place to spend your time, learn a useful craft and laugh a lot. Many long-term relationships are made here."
The clubhouse, which has two work rooms, a gift shop and kiln room, is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays for members to come and go as they please. It also is open from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday to accommodate members who work during the day. In addition, beginning the first Saturday in October, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. will be added to the schedule.
Dues are $20 annually for SCC residents; $30 for folks who live in Kings Point. Members are responsible for buying their own supplies, including paints, brushes and tools, and greenware. Everyone is required to donate at least two finished pieces of their choice to the club's gift shop each year; otherwise everything they make they keep.
Proceeds from the shop are used to cover club expenses and make donations of cash or merchandise to charitable groups. Included among the many recipients are the SCC Sawdust Engineers and LifePath Hospice; Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort shelter in Ruskin; Veterans Administration at Bay Pines Hospital; and the Community Association Hardship, Funfest funds.
There are currently 88 members of varying skill levels. Free classes are offered by two certified trainers, Christina Snell and Frances Frazier. Of course, anyone with any experience or specific expertise is glad to help beginners.
If you're not a member and you'd like to give ceramics a try, the club will offer free lessons from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 14, 21 and 28. Everything is supplied at no charge, and there is a limit of 12 participants. There is no obligation to join but those who complete the classes are offered two additional months of membership upon payment of their dues.
For more information, call (813) 642-2040 or stop by 946 Cherry Hills Drive.