Ocmulgee monument program lets children explore artistic natures

jwilliams@macon.comJuly 14, 2013 

To make a pot out of clay, first you make a pancake, then you roll snakes to stack on the edge.

That’s what Park Ranger Angela Bates told Andrew Flowers, 7, when he arrived at his first craft afternoon at the Ocmulgee National Monument on Sunday.

Bates has been holding the craft sessions at 3 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday from April through October for five years. She said they have been held every summer at the monument since the ’70s or ’80s. She noted the sessions aren’t held in September because of the Indian celebration at that time.

Sunday, only two children attended the session, but Bates said that’s the lowest she’s had in more than a year and she suspects it was because of the forecast of poor weather. She said attendance is usually about 15-30 kids.

While the craft sessions usually just involve pottery, Bates has added an option to paint clay pendants during July the past few years. She said the idea is like Indian sea shell necklaces with designs carved into them, called gorgets.

Bates said the kids don’t always learn about pottery in school and that they seem to really enjoy it.

“They love it because it’s hands-on,” she said.

Crystal Flowers said the experience was a positive one for her nephew.

“It exposed him to something he hadn’t done before,” she said.

Andrew Flowers seemed to have fun making the pancake for his pot, and then painting a pendent with a motorcycle and the number 100 on it. But as soon as he was done, he was excited for the next thing, ready to run off and explore the rest of the park.

To contact writer Jaime Williams, call 744-4331.

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