Campus News

This Week in Photos: The Mug That Keeps Giving

December 23, 2021

Yvonne Gay

Handmade mugs sit on a table.
Photo credit: Christy Chen '22

Dozens of handcrafted mugs of varying shapes, shades, and textures rest on tables throughout a large meeting space at First Church in Oberlin. These small, handheld items make for terrific gifts, and are traditionally sold in December. They also serve as inspiration for this week’s photo series.

More than 600 bowls and mugs were sold at the Empty Mugs fundraiser earlier this month, thanks to Oberlin’s Pottery Co-op and community volunteers who supplied the hand-sculpted pieces. 

Creating the mugs for the event involves many hours, but the end result is the gift that keeps giving. All proceeds are donated to the Oberlin Community Services, which provides local residents with access to utilities, food, and housing. This year, sales from Empty Mugs raised more than $8,000 for the local organization.

Helen Schrayer ’22 has been involved in the Pottery Co-op since her first year at Oberlin. In fact, “it was a big part of why I decided to come to Oberlin College,” she says. 

“This tradition is great because it increases co-op camaraderie and student engagement with Oberlin Community Services,” says Schrayer. “It's hard to tell how many students donated pieces,” explains Schrayer. “But our top student potter made 150 mugs and bowls. Most active co-op members donated at least a few pots.”

We continue our photo tour with stops along the Fall Art Walk; find a carpet seat at Bassoon Christmas; make a graceful Fall Forward; find pitch in Fairchild Chapel; perform community service at OCS; and end with a gift of service. 


A college student looks at a table with lots of mugs on it.
A student shops for the perfect mugs at this year’s Empty Mugs event. Photo credit: Christy Chen ’22 (See more photos.)
Sculpture on display.
Student artwork from the fall semester was displayed in the hallways, media and photo labs, drawing domes, painting studios, print lab, Hales, and in the sculpture classrooms. Photo credit: Clarissa Heart ’22 (See more photos.)
A conductor wearing a Santa Claus hat leads a bassoon orchestra.
The December 13 cooncert of Bassoon Christmas in the conservatory lounge is an Oberlin College tradition. Photo credit: Yvonne Gay (See more photos.)
A group of students dance on a large stage.
Fall Forward, in Hales Gymnasium, is a student dance showcase directed by Assistant Professor of Dance Alysia Ramos. Photo credit: Jonathan Clark ’25 (See more photos.)
A group of students sing on a small stage.
Oberlin’s student acapella group, Pitch Please, gave an end-of-semester concert in Fairchild Chapel. Photo credit: Jude Watt (See more photos.)
A college student loads groceries into a car.
An Oberlin student helps distribute food at Oberlin Community Services. Photo credit: Rebecca Devereaux

This Week in Photos is a selection of images and is not meant to represent a weekly timeline. Images highlight campus, community, people, and events related to Oberlin College.

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