Arts This Week
Western New York Pottery Festival coming to East Avon
Local potter and teacher Michael Carroll has super-sized his once small pottery festival and it promises to be a rewarding experience for potters and the community alike.
This is the next generation of an annual event that will take place at Studio Sales Pottery at 5557 Route 5 & 20 in Avon, NY. The Western New York Pottery Festival is this Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There will be 20 vendor booths total, all exclusively pottery. Many local potters will be at the festival, along with potters from three different states. Attendees can participate in a raffle to win a piece of pottery every hour on the hour starting at 10 a.m.
New this year, Mike and his staff at Studio Sales have added 17 pottery vendors, a silent auction to benefit Chances and Changes, kids’ pottery opportunities in the studio, and a new wood kiln will be opened and unloaded (which according to Mike, “is better than Christmas”), information booths for three other community studios from Rochester, Fairport and Canandaigua and more.
There will be live throwing and hand building demonstrations. The Raku kiln will be available for participants to purchase and glaze a pot which will be fired onsite and finished in as little as 30 minutes.
According to Carroll, Raku firing is a quick-fire technique in which a gas fired kiln heats up to 1,900 degrees in 30 to 45 minutes to melt the glazes, then the pots are placed in cans of straw to “reduce” the metallic oxides in the glazes for spectacular effects. The pieces are more decorative than functional, as the glazes crackle over the clay.
The large wood-fired kiln was loaded and fired this past weekend and there will be a wood kiln opening at noon, with over 150 new creations. The wood-fired kiln takes 15 to 17 hours to reach temperature and uses a full cord of hardwood.
The work from that kiln is unique to being fired with wood to 2450 degrees; the pots are colored by being in the flame path for 15 hours and lightly glazed in some places by the wood ash which melts on the clay and the glazes. The work is all one of a kind, functional, durable stoneware.
This event is open and free for the public to attend. There will be clay activities for children, food, live music, and specials on pottery supplies and classes at Studio Sales Pottery.
Also included is live music from local band Blue Buick Special and Image City Sound, magic by Brendan King and barbecue from Colby’s.