KAYSVILLE – It had been decades since the six friends had been in second grade together, but over the years they made a habit of getting together every week to catch up.
Friendship is “so important,” said Audrey Simons, a Kaysville resident, now 83.
“Just to be with each other and count on them if you need help is so important,” she said. “It makes life easier. You need someone you can talk to and cry with.”
More than being together, almost 20 years ago the friends started a joint craft project of creating with ceramics.
They would meet each Wednesday, pour molds that one friend would fire during the week, then the next Wednesday they’d gather again to paint.
Not all the women can get together now. Some have passed away, others can’t get out, but the hobby they started has become a rewarding part of Simons’ life.
“Audie’s ceramics” are legendary, said her daughter, Paula Swapp. The “hundreds and hundreds” she has created have been shared with her two children, seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren and friends.
She has also taught the craft to the resource students Paula works with at Windridge Elementary.
“They absolutely loved it,” said Swapp.
Simons’s specialty is Santa Claus figures, which may be designed as anything from fishermen to zoo keepers. She has also painted Chinese figures, teddy bears, princesses, temples and more.
She has won four blue-ribbons at the Davis County Fair, one for best of show.
In 2003, Simons’ husband died.
“If you just sat and didn’t do anything, you’d melt,” she said. “You have to have some hobby, something to keep you going.”
Swapp is impressed by her mother’s hobby and the patience it takes to create each piece.
She’s also impressed with the friendships that have lasted over the years.
“They share secrets and hardships,” she said. “They support each other.”
“It makes life easier,” said Simons.”