By Elaine Omann
Sharon Sharp has worked with Haverty’s for 39 years, most recently at The Avenues store as the office supervisor. She has served as captain for the Making Strides for Cancer campaign and contributed her crafts as decorations and as items for the fundraising.
She lives on the Southside and is very involved in the community through The Compassionate Friends organization. She enjoyed RV camping with her husband, a professional photographer, and her daughter. Sharp has a very special gift and she has shared it with those who see her at work, in her craft and in her heartfelt message of loss of a child, which she has personally experienced.
- What part of being a ceramist is most interesting for you?
I have a kiln in my home and enjoy making ornaments, home accessories and outdoor pieces. I don’t have my own molds, but I have sources that I have my pieces poured from. I have a huge ghost that is a favorite that lights up and that I put out at Halloween. The Christmas ornaments are also favorites.
- What are ways you share your skills and talents? Do you sell items or exhibit?
When our family went camping at Hanna Park, I would teach my daughter and her friends how to make pieces and paint them. We would have a crafts show at the campground and I would take first place and best of show trophies. My daughter would say, “Mama, I cannot beat you.” A few months after my daughter’s death in a car accident when she was 20, I entered four ceramic fairies she had made. These were the last pieces she had made. That year her fairies took the first place ribbon and best of show trophy. I was never more proud or more honored to take second place.
- What is the story behind the ceramic chair ornament?
The chair is for the empty place at the table. It is for those who have been lost to us. This was for my daughter who I lost when she was 20 years old in 2003. I also belong to Compassionate Friends, an organization for parents who have lost children.
- Could you explain more about the organization and why it is part of your life now?
Only a parent who has a lost a child can totally understand what this is like. In the beginning I went to the meetings for myself, because of my daughter, and now I go for others. I share my story and how it was and that at some point you learn to smile, you hear yourself laugh, and you look behind to see who it is and then you discover it is you. It takes time and being with others is helpful. There is a local chapter of Compassionate Friends that meets at Southside United Methodist Church the second Monday of every month at 7 p.m.
- What do you want others to know about the Compassionate Friends organization?
Every year on the second Sunday of December there is a worldwide candlelight service at 7 p.m. in whatever timezone you live. Candles are lit in places or homes where children have been lost. It begins in Australia and it goes around the world to show that their light will always shine. This year the local event will be held at Southside United Methodist Church at 3120 Hendicks Ave. on Sunday, Dec. 11. It starts at 6:30 p.m. so that we have all the candles lit by 7 p.m. We light our candles before the service, have poetry readings for our children, then the finale’ is a beautiful music slide show to honor all of our children.
Photo courtesy Sharon Sharp