Ceramic pottery can objectively be viewed as a work of art or essential kitchen ware, but for Turlock resident Don Hall it’s a life-saving container that provides people in developing regions of the world access to clean water.
Hill serves as a regional board member for the nonprofit organization Potters For Peace, which is a group of skilled artisans that travel from the United States to countries like the Philippines, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica and teaches people living in remote villages how to make ceramic water filtration systems.
Local glass artist JC Strote, who met Hill through the San Joaquin Potters Guild, learned about the work he had done with the Potters for Peace and knew she wanted to share his story and work with Lodi’s art community.
“I have seen his presentation a number of times and am inspired by the work they do,” Strote said. “I have been trying for years to get him to speak at the Lodi Community Art Center.”
After several undertakings, Strote successfully brought Hill to the art center Thursday evening to inspire the community with the work he does and the functionality of art.
Strote was especially eager to introduce students enrolled in ceramic programs in the Lodi Unified School District to Hill and Potters for Peace because she wanted them to learn about the functionality of art.
During his presentation, Hill said artisans provide a step-by-step process for the people they meet in developing countries.
The Potters For Peace objective is to teach people every facet of the manufacturing, testing and selling of ceramic water filters. According to Hill, the mission is not just about giving people a water filter, it’s also about teaching them how to repeat the process so they can take what they have learned and create a sustainable business.
Potters For Peace, headquartered in Dodgeville, Wis., offers students from various countries scholarship opportunities that grants them the opportunity to visit the Potters headquarters and learn how to build kilns and paint pottery.
In an effort to support the various aspects of their programs and projects, Strote said the gallery had an entry fee for Hill’s presentation and sold his pottery to raise funds for Potters for Peace.
“We are not even taking a commission from the pottery, we just want to support them (Potters For Peace), and raise money for them,” Strote said. “We have already sold six pottery pieces made by Don and raised over $500 since the beginning of the Month.”