St. Philip’s beautiful antique Mexican crèche has been part of our Christmas celebration for many years. Last Christmas one of the shepherds was accidentally knocked down during a service and shattered — beyond repair, it seemed. Tim Ballingham took it and shared his skill as an artist and worker of clay, spending many hours restoring it to its original shape. Although it was broken in many pieces, it is now impossible to tell it was ever damaged. This exquisite figure is as beautiful as it is historic, and it is whole once again. We owe Tim a huge debt of gratitude for his immaculate craftmanship.
Tim and his wife, Pamala Ballingham, are instructors in St. Philip’s pottery program, which has been providing adult pottery classes and specialized workshops since 1999. Tim has been a professional clay artist for over 30 years. He has a Master’s degree in ceramic sculpture and glaze calculation. Among his many achievements is a piece in the permanent collections of both the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the McGraw-Hill Publishing Company in Columbus, Ohio. His work has appeared in Ceramics Monthly, The Complete Catalog of Contemporary Crafts of the Americas, Atlantic Monthly, and the Goodfellow Catalog of Wonderful Things. Pam has a BFA in Fine Arts and Education and has also worked in clay for over 30 years. Her ceramics have appeared in The Goodfellow Catalog of Wonderful Things, and the coffee table edition of Beautiful Things.
In St. Philip’s pottery program, students engage in highly individualized, self-paced projects in an environment free of judgment and competition. The classes emphasize mindfulness towards the pottery “process” and one another. It’s pottery-making with a difference. Both daytime and evening classes are offered. New series will begin in November. More information is available at their web site.
—Melinda Carrell, Altar Guild Directress 2010–2012
Nice report on the repair of our figurine. Joyce