VAA Raku Pottery Party, May 9!
Traditionally, the word Raku referred to the Japanese pottery used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony; it means enjoyment, comfort, or happiness. Nowadays, the word Raku refers to the practice of utilizing both heat and smoke to create unique patterns and designs.
The Raku process starts with firing the pot until it reaches its maximum temperature (approximately 30 minutes) and then placing it into a sealed metal container containing combustible material.
The combustible material immediately ignites, drawing oxygen from the hot pots and glazes. This process, called post fire reduction, leaves ions and iridescent luster behind, creating a metallic effect on the glaze. Unglazed areas turn a matte black color.
When the pots have cooled somewhat, they are removed from the sealed metal container and submerged in water. The timing of each step directly affects the shades of each glaze color, and contributes to the unpredictable results and intense colors of Raku that attract modern potters.
Local potter Sandra Cook, owner of SL Cook Pottery and Fiber Werks in Palmer, has perfected this technique and, with her portable Raku kiln, is bringing it to the community this spring.
On Saturday afternoon, May 9, starting at 2pm, Sandra will conduct the 7th Annual Valley Arts Alliance Raku Pottery Party at Pat Garley's Arctic Fires Bronze in Palmer, Alaska. Don’t let the “party” name fool you—this event is a true informal workshop. See exciting scenes of last year's workshop at the 2014 VAA Raku Pottery Party archive page.
During this workshop, Sandra will provide each participant with two pots of fired and unglazed ceramic ware, known as bisque. The participants then decorate their pot with a variety of glazes, and then Sandra fires the pots in one of her special portable Raku kilns. At the conclusion of the workshop, all the participants will be able to take their unique creations home!
The VAA Pottery Party workshop fee is $50, and is payable at the door. Seating is limited, so please reply to “Carmen (at) ValleyArtsAlliance (dot) com” or call 746-2370 to reserve your place.
So join Sandra at Arctic Fires Bronze (located at 15615 East Outer Springer Loop in Palmer) on Saturday May 9, from 2 to 6pm. These workshops are a unique experience, and part of bringing the community together through the arts!
VAA partners with Valley Performing Arts!
The Valley Performing Arts will be producing “South Pacific” at the Machetanz Theatre, 251 West Swanson in Wasilla, from March 20 to April 19, 2015.
Set in an island paradise during World War II, two parallel love stories are threatened by the dangers of prejudice and war. Nellie, a spunky nurse from Arkansas, falls in love with a mature French planter, Emile. Nellie learns that the mother of his children was an island native and, unable to turn her back on the prejudices with which she was raised, refuses Emile's proposal of marriage. Meanwhile, the strapping Lt. Joe Cable denies himself the fulfillment of a future with an innocent Tonkinese girl with whom he's fallen in love out of the same fears that haunt Nellie. When Emile is recruited to accompany Joe on a dangerous mission, Nellie realizes that life is too short not to seize her own chance for happiness, thus confronting and conquering her prejudices.
For more info, see their website or phone the Box Office at 373-0195.
In the lobby of the Machetanz Theatre is the Valley Arts Alliance showcase that displays locally crafted original artwork by Valley Arts Alliance members.
For the next several weeks, our showcase will contain art by Sandra Cook, Margret Hugi-Lewis, and Carmen Summerfield.
New displays at the Machetanz Theatre are being planned, so that we can provide VPA theatre guests with an opportunity to view our local community artists. Just another example of the Valley Arts Alliance bringing the community together through the arts!
What is "Second Saturday"?
On one day each month—the “Second Saturday” here in the Valley—we are encouraging local art galleries, restaurants, and retail businesses to join in with local and regional artists, sculptors, musicians, and food masters for a festive day of art and entertainment.
This concept has been adopted in a variety of locations throughout America, and provides a festive atmosphere for visitors to plan a day on the town and browse the many participating stores and venues. A bookstore could schedule a book signing; a coffee shop could schedule a poetry reading; a gallery could have an artist demonstrate; or a retail establishment could provide space for a musician to play. All on the same day of the month—the Second Saturday.
The Valley Arts Alliance is coordinating the "Second Saturday" project. Just email us if you are willing to participate and we will attempt to match up artists and venues. For a complete list of participating Second Saturday venues, please sign up for our newsletter. It’s that easy! Join us in supporting the arts in our community, and in helping to make our art community grow.