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Creating their own winter wonderland

High school artists lend talent for The Gathering Inn fundraiser
By: Megan Wood The Press Tribune
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Christmas may be more than a month away, but for the students of Joyce Henry’s ceramics class at Roseville High School, the holiday spirit is alive and well. For the past several weeks, students have been lending their artistic abilities to create one-of-a-kind pieces to raise funds for local charities. “I like to give the students opportunity to show their work to the community any chance I get,” Henry said. “This was especially unique because they are getting their art out there and helping a greater cause.” The ceramics students were invited by The Gathering Inn to create Christmas trees that will be auctioned off at the third annual Splendor of the Trees holiday festival to benefit the shelter program. “They could create the trees out of any material they wanted,” said Suzi deFossett, executive director of The Gathering Inn. “We wanted to give them the freedom to have the trees represent what the holiday meant to these kids.” Several schools throughout Placer County as well as Girl Scout troops, college art classes and professional artists in the community have also committed to creating renditions of Christmas trees to be donated. In Henry’s ceramics class, several students chose to craft their trees out of clay while others took non-traditional routes to create a unique forest of Christmas trees that littered the counters in the classroom. “I can’t even begin to pick a favorite,” Henry said. “All of the students have impressed me with their creativity.” One she noted as being especially creative and resourceful was created using the pine branches, twigs and pinecones that littered Roseville High School’s campus after the mid-October rainstorms. Juniors Rachel Wilson and Saja Daood chose to make a tree with a modern, unexpected twist. Using aluminum foil, the girls scrunched and molded small strips around their fingers to create small blooms, which they glued around a poster board tree form. “We really wanted something that would catch the light and be really shiny,” Daood said. “And then for color we added ribbon and pom-poms for the ornaments.” The girls worked on the tree, which stands 2 feet tall, for a week and said the most time-intensive part was gluing on the aluminum foil blooms. “We used a glue gun and you have to work kind of quick when you’re gluing them on,” Wilson said. “We both have a few burns, but it’s for a good cause.” Josh Gray, a sophomore, knows first hand what good his efforts for the fundraiser will do for the homeless community. “I was homeless four years ago,” Gray said. “I know exactly what it’s like to live in a shelter and on the street and I’ll do whatever I can to help because I’ve been in that situation.” Gray and fellow classmate Stephanie Burton, a junior, created a ceramic Christmas tree from layers of parallelograms to give the tree texture and a lifelike quality. Caitey Mack, a senior, had originally built the three ceramic trees for her mother as a Christmas present, but after hearing about the holiday fundraiser, opted to donate them instead. “I’ll make my mom a Christmas present another time,” Mack said. “How could I not (donate)? I’m fortunate to have a roof over my head and warm clothes. I hope someone buys my trees now so someone else can know a little bit of that too.” Know and go: Splendor of the Trees A fundraising effort to benefit The Gathering Inn Nov. 14 6-9 p.m. RC Willey 6636 Lone Tree Blvd, Rocklin $10 Silent and live auction for student artwork, vacations and services. Each ticket is also entered to win a 40-inch flat screen television.