Monday, August 4, 2008
Mountain Festival Camp Nelson
Here I am in my booth at the Mountain Festival in Camp Nelson. At 4000 foot elevation, the cool mountain air was welcome from the over 100 F temperatures at 1000 foot elevation where I live. This festival is a small, fun-filled event held each year for the last 42 years. There is music, food, children's activities and much more happening at this art and craft fair and festival set in a beautiful mountain meadow.
I met some great people at the festival and I had lots of wonderful comments on my ceramics. One of the comments which stuck with me was "Your pieces look like they have had your hands all over them, I like that". People are appreciating hand made ceramics and do realize wares they can get more cheaply are machine made and they consider them disposable. Visitors to my booth liked that my pieces are signed too. I also had requests from a number of people to teach a bead making class and a children's clay class. All in all people feel connected to art and many said they wanted to include more art in their lives.
I connected with several potters visiting the festival who expressed interest in getting together when the weather cools so we can have a barrel firing party. I already have quite a few people lined up for this fun event. In preparation for this fun time, I purchased some clay called buff sand from Laguna which is supposed to be good for pit and barrel firings and versatile for hand building and throwing too.
In a previous post I mentioned Paul Andrew Wandless' book "Alternative Kilns and Firing Techniques". I am going to pattern my first firing from information I am reading in the book. I was originally going to have a pit fire but the book says barrel firing can get much hotter than the pit - and it seems much easier to set it up. We'll cut the barrels in half and fire three at a time instead of just one. That way we can get every one's pieces in the fire and not stack the wares too high and risk too much settling and possibly some of the pieces cracking from the weight of the others. So I am off on a mission this morning to locate some barrels for firing.