Object Dar't

August 4, 2010

WANDERING WEDNESDAY: The Worcester Craft Center in Review!

I recently attended "Hot Night in the City", the Worcester Center for Craft's open studio. I must say that in spite of the small size of the event, it packed a big punch in the inspiration department. Just like the event, the name of The Worcester Center for Craft's, is also misleading. The term "crafts", has become known for being something amateurs plunk at like a hobby which has a restricted flow of creativity. Not so here! The flood gates of creativity were WIDE open and the people that make up the Craft Center shouldn't be called "crafters", but artisans.
Kids craft activies
The event of course featured the the same old kids craft activities, which was the first thing we did. Inside the Center, various studios were open including loom weaving, pottery throwing (the studio was amazing!), photography, jewelry making, weaving, thrown pottery, glass enameling and even hand-hammered metal works. 

Outside the Center were top-notch demonstrations of rustic weaving, a potter at the wheel, glass bead making, blacksmithing and a clay tile mosaic (which you could decorate for a fee)

Rustic Weaving

but the pièce de résistance was the Raku firing. 

Raku sample

For those of you unfamiliar with Raku, during the firing of pottery, different elements are added to a kiln to produce smoke and fire. This alters the glaze that was applied to each piece and gives a unique personality.

In THIS case, a more rudimentary (as in how it was done centuries ago!) set-up of outdoor kiln,

Outdoor Kiln

giant iron tongs to remove pieces

Removing of pottery pieces for Raku treatment

and people scrambling to drop them into trash cans filled with ripped newspaper and straw. 

The waiting cans

Raising the kiln to remove pieces

It was simply awesome to watch them draw up the top of that giant beast of a kiln and treat the pottery.

They even demonstrated various techniques of Raku using a covered pot, a spray bottle of water and wrapping horse hair onto unglazed pottery.  

Horsehair application to hot pottery
All VERY educational and utterly inspiring.

The find out more about the Worcester Center for Craft's or to see their full spectrum of classes, please visit their website. Or find them on Facebook here.