We start the celebration with the opening of our soda kiln. The door is unbricked, revealing the soda glazed ware. We take this time to honor all the ceramic artists in our community who have passed from our lives during the last year. 11:00 a.m.
As the ware is removed, each piece is admired and passed to another potter to be appreciated. From artist’s hand to artist’s hand, finding its way to our Soda Fired Shelf for one and all to view. Ceramics instructor Geoffrey Nicastro pictured at right.
Ceramic sculptor Laurie Hennig enjoys the soda glaze on a piece by fellow potter, Paula Prekowitz.
At left, long time local ceramicist, Dan Hennig checks out one of the trophies he made for this year’s contests.
Carol Gaab demonstrates for an appreciative audience how she creates a substantial base for her large sculpture figures. She shared her process, stories and answered audience questions.
Our second demonstrator, Rocky Lewycky, shared information about his thoughtful Creative process, showed us all kinds of tricks, new tools, and Engaged us with his clay knowledge. Truly inspirational!
Rocky created a series of closed forms, entrapping air inside the form which allows it to be paddled into various shapes.
Placing hot coals & combustible materials inside his terra sigliata surfaced bowls, Rocky shared his exciting quick fire techniques.
The burning materials left a carbonized imprint burned into the polished bowl surfaces. Rocky further demonstrated a technique for applying gold leaf to a ceramic surface.
Throughout the day, experienced potters were encouraged to throw bowls. These bowls will be trimmed, glazed and fired by our ceramics crew, then donated to Loaves & Fishes for their “Empty Bowls” fundraising event. Funds raised from this event feed hungry people in our community. Clay for this event was donated by Phoenix ceramics. We get and we give.
Hands On Clay! Children of all ages were encouraged to get into the clay…instructors helped these young budding artists to try several clay techniques, from hand-building, slab construction to creating a pot on the wheel.
Seasoned clay vets participated in clay contests: Who can throw the tallest pot with 5 pounds of clay? The best form while blind-folded? Prizes were unique, creative trophies made by local artists for this event.
Totem parts were the creative results from our handbuilding area, with contestants vying for a trophy. The resulting totems will be stacked through out our sculpture garden.
A sample of the trophies created by Dan Hennig, fresh from the soda kiln.
Many participants experienced a Raku firing, where the glazed pieces are removed from the kiln while the surfaces are molten. Placed inside a can filled with sawdust, they create smoke & fire and are purposely oxygen starved to produce metallic surfaces, a process called “reduction atmospheric firing”.
This wonderful day, full of a myriad of clay experiences, inspires a growing community of artists, sharing, learning, getting and giving. We thank our sponsors: Kevin Wahl – Phoenix Ceramics Earth Matters Foundation Bruce Bangert The Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County The Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County And Musical Entertainment provided by Mark Wallace.
Statistics for the day: Attendees: 247 Bowls made: 63 Pizzas consumed: 12 Trophies Awarded: 8 Totems created: 37 Youngest participant: age 2 Oldest Participant: 87 4 generations experienced a day of clay.