Pictured below is Alison Gayton and a customer who purchased one of the bowls at the most recent Gaining Ground event on October 28th, 2016. Check out more of Alison's work here: I Love Saint John Pottery.
"Gaining Ground is a social enterprise developed by local potter Alison Gayton, the Coverdale Centre for Women, and the office of Wayne Long, MP for Saint John-Rothesay. Participants from the Women’s Centre sign up for a workshop to learn basic pottery skills, skills they can build upon if they continue with their training. During the first workshop, each participant makes two bowls. The bowls are then fired in the kiln. During the second workshop, participants decorate their bowls. After this, the bowls are glazed. Once the process is complete, each woman keeps one bowl, and offers the other for sale in support of Gaining Ground.
Some comments from participants:
"I liked to learn how to be focused and concentrate while working with my hands"
"It's free and hands on, I like that"
"We had freedom to be creative and the instructions were easy to follow"
"I liked learning to be calm by sitting through the whole process"
The ultimate goal of Gaining Ground is to make a self- sustaining social enterprise that provides skills and a valuable outlet to women experiencing hardship. Once the operation becomes profitable, the pottery workshops will be offered at Coverdale on a regular bi-weekly or monthly basis. The first double workshop was a major success. Most participants returned to complete their work, and are eager to learn more. On the way to being self-sustaining, Gaining Ground is seeking funding on the municipal, provincial, and federal levels, along with reaching out to the business community and private interests. All support is welcome."