A two-day celebration of clay featuring live demonstrations, food and music, and hands-on activities for both children and adults is scheduled for Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24 from noon to 6 pm at the Sharon Arts School of Art and Craft, 457 Rt.123, Sharon.
Sharon Arts Center and the New Hampshire Institute of Art are partnering in this event to feature master clay artisans who will be onsite both days with demonstrations of how they work.
Wiederspahn added that during this year’s Clayfest Sharon Arts will be introducing their Japanese Anagama Kiln Project, which they will be launching through an upcoming fundraising campaign in order to build and provide community access to a state-of-the-art Anagama kiln. Next year’s Clayfest, she said, will be preceded by a four-week educational program encompassing the actual building of the Anagama, engineered with clay artist James Mitschmyer along with Japanese potter and kiln builder Koichi Ohara, a master guest artist coming from Japan to help facilitate the project.
On Saturday, June 23 Mills will demonstrate “Sectional Wheelthrowing” and Orsillo will explain “Textured Slab-Building Techniques.” On Sunday, June 24 Baymore will do “Wheelworking Techniques,” demonstrating how to make various jars, cups, and other signature forms which will incorporate and cover a variety of wheelworking techniques, and Archer will demonstrate “Complex Forms,” which will focus on throwing techniques and altering techniques. All of these demonstrations will be held from noon to 2 pm and again from 2 pm to 4 pm.
Ongoing through the weekend there will be outdoor firings managed by Sharon Arts faculty member and local potter Janet Duchesneau of Eastwind Pottery along with renowned New Hampshire potter Glen MacInnis. Visitors will be able to witness Raku firings, Saggar Pit firings, and sawdust firings. Raku, meaning “joy” in Japanese, was created in 16th century Japan and features crackled glazes, which are brought to their full beauty when interacting with the carbon of the firing process. Saggar Pit firing originated in China and allows the artist to incorporate any number of organic materials to achieve different colors and effects.
Hands-on workshops will be available as well. On Saturday from 4 to 6 pm, Sharon Arts faculty member James Mitschmyer will lead a segment on printing on clay. On Sunday from 1 to 3 pm Duchesneau will be leading an introductory segment on creating with clay, covering basic handbuilding and wheel techniques.
Youth-specific workshops will include Handbuilding for Kids on Saturday from noon to 3 pm with New Hampshire clay artist Shana Brautigam of Rooted in Clay. Also on Saturday, from 3 to 6 pm, Sharon Arts faculty member Connie Gray will lead a mini-class on creating with Polymer Clay. On Sunday from noon to 3 pm Karrie Mitschmyer will lead a mini-class on creative sculpture for kids. These youth offerings are open to ages 6 through 12. Younger children accompanied by a parent are welcome.
Participants are limited to eight per workshop, and signups will be taken the day of the event. Observers are welcome at all demonstrations.
In addition to the weekend’s activities, information about the proposed Anagama Kiln will be available as well as an onsite temporary weekend gallery featuring artisan wares for sale. Featured artists will include participating NHIA faculty, Sharon Arts Center juried crafters, and Sharon Arts Center students and faculty. Displayed work will represent a diverse cross-section of styles of functional and decorative pieces.
RAKU FIRING OUTSIDE
12noon-1pm – Raku Firing Prep with Janet Duchesneau and Glen MacInnis
12noon-2pm, and 2-4pm – Sectional Wheelthrowing with Maureen Mills
12noon-3pm – Handbuilding for Kids with Shana Brautigam
3-6pm – Polymer Clay for Kids with Connie Gray
12noon-1pm – Saggar Firing Prep with Janet Duchesneau and Glen MacInnis
12noon-2pm, and 2-4pm – Wheelworking Techniques with John Baymore
12noon-3pm – Handbuilding for Kids with Karrie Mitschmyer