Cullman Senior Spring 2021 - Page 23

Nancy Graves learns a new skill with help from local artisan Sandra Abbott

Local Artists

Nancy Graves learns a new skill with help from local artisan Sandra Abbott

When Nancy Graves started pottery , she wasn ’ t sure exactly what she was getting into .
But not long after beginning more than four years ago , Graves found herself falling in love with her new hobby .
“ Sandra Abbott is one of the very best teachers ,” said Graves , who is also an employee with Kindred Hospice in Cullman . “ She has so much patience with the younger and older ( like me ) and goes above and beyond with her students . If you don ’ t know Sandra and her love for pottery , you are truly missing out , because she is a great person and a great teacher .”
Graves also said that she has been amazed at watching other seniors learning from Abbott .
“ I have watched an 80-year-old woman develop a love and skill for pottery while learning under Abbott ,” Graves said . “ She just has a magnetic glow about her that leads to others developing the same kind of passion for creating .” Abbott , 63 of Cullman , spent the majority of her career working as an ICU nurse and didn ’ t pick up pottery as a hobby until a few years before she retired .
“ I took classes from Sister Adrian McClain at the Convent here in town ,” Abbott said . “ She sparked a love for pottery in me and remains a great friend .”
Abbott also said that she had an uncle on her father ’ s side , Wes Abbott , that was a true artist for years . “ I was fortunate to spend several years with him before he passed and learned so much from him .”
Abbott was born in Georgia but her family moved to Alabama not long after she was born . Both her fathers ’ and mothers ’ families were from Cullman .
Her mother passed away when she was only 10 years old and at the age of 11 , Abbott moved to Texas with her father and three siblings until she graduated high school . She married , had three kids , enrolled at Wallace Sate Community College and became a nurse . She divorced her husband at 30 and has been single ever since .
She said that she always wanted to be a nurse and spent 15 years working in ICU ’ s and ER ’ s , followed by 10 years in management until she retired after a 25-year career .
After she officially retired , she put together a small studio where she could work at home making
CULLMAN COUNTY SENIOR MAGAZINE SPRING 2021 | 23