Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Artist Studio Tour This Weekend

The raku kiln being unveiled after ten years in storage

Preparing the foundation for the kiln

Looks good to me!
Albeit a bit rusty and the fiber has been a bit chewed-up by mice.

Yep. I'm late to post again this week. Not only that, this will be a quick one. I am moving along at triple speed this month since school started and that candle I've been burning at both ends seems to have a never-ending wick. I'm wearing many different hats right now, so to say, and I am sure that my current experiences will make for some interesting blog posts down the road. For now, I will focus on the big event upcoming for this weekend.

The Two Countries One Bay Artist Studio Tour takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 18-19. I've been part of this tour the past four years and absolutely love it! Anyone who is planning to be in this area this weekend definitely shouldn't miss out. Tour maps are available at all of the participants studios and other locations such as B&B's, Info stops, and at shops and galleries of sponsors. Here in Lubec, feel free to pick up the full-color map pamphlets (with info on each of the participating artists as well as directions) at Northern Tides, Tours of Lubec and Cobscook, and my shop (open fairly regularly). Also, you can check out the official website.

Lodging fills up quick here, but there may be a few rooms available still since it is not a holiday weekend. The best place to get a list of accommodations is on the Visit Lubec Maine website.

The tour spans from St. Andrews, through St. Stephen, down into Calais, Eastport, Whiting, Trescott, Lubec, Campobello Island, and across the bay to Deer Island. You can even enjoy a ferry ride! There are quite a few artists involved and demos running both days. You will usually find some edible delights at the various stops, and the privilege of being able to see normally private working spaces of the artists. Now that's pretty nifty!

I normally have the 9 foot high outdoor Earth Loom warped and ready for folks to weave if they feel inspired. This year, I am trying like mad to get the old raku kiln up and running for a possible demo on Saturday.

For those not familiar, raku is a Japanese firing technique. This is a more Americanized version, but still so very cool. (or hot!!!) It is exciting, unpredictable, and the results are fabulous. The technique involves reduction in a can with combustible materials (i.e. sawdust, leaves, newspaper) which produces a beautiful shiny luster, and the unglazed clay body turns a smoky dark gray/black. When I actually have pics to post of a successful raku firing, I will go into further detail on the process and history of raku. I was hooked the first time I tried it as a student at USM in the early 90's. It's captivating for most.

Late dinner is ready and I must sign off. Hope to see you this weekend on the tour!


Anonymous said...

Yeah, those Raku firings were fun back in the nineties.

Have you fired it up again?


Sophie said...

I still have the raku rattle you sent me... years ago. It’s moved with me ever since and rattles from time to time :)