UNIONTOWN — Last September, Artisans at the Dahmen Barn created a clay studio that was so popular it outgrew its space within six months.Pottery was the most requested class at the barn, said Julie Hartwig, who manages the barn’s gift shop. When they announced they would create a teaching studio, Colton School donated all its wheels and kilns in turn for classes for its students. Community members donated more equipment and people showed up in droves for lessons.
Needing more room, and a separate area for the kilns and glazes for health reasons, volunteers helped build a new space. Saturday a “Mudslinging Extravaganza” will showcase the new kiln shed and raise money to pay off the cost of building supplies.
“There will be a lot of mud,” said Cassie Smith, who manages the clay studio and teaches ceramics at the University of Idaho, where she earned a master’s degree in the field.
“One goal is to show people that using clay and making pottery is really accessible and it’s something you can do in your backyard, if you really wanted to.”
The event will also show the wide array of things you can do with clay, beyond making functional pottery. Clearwater Canyon Cellars and Riverport Brewery will be selling beer and wine. Food will be for sale. There will also be live music and a kid zone.
A wheel throwing competition where a half-dozen potters will compete to see who can throw the most bowls in 15 minutes. People will be able to bid on their favorite pot.
Demonstrations on pot throwing, barrel firing and horse hair firing, a method that uses horse hair to burn a carbon trail on a pot creating curly black lines. “A lot of people see it and think it’s really magical and mystical but you can actually do it on your grill at home,” Smith said.
Learn how to make a pinch pot out of kitty litter. Kitty litter is a bentonite clay, Smith explained. “If you add water and mix thoroughly, you can make things. It’s pretty wild.”
Break undesirable pots and add them to the barn’s Shard Garden, an outdoor walkway built from abandoned art.
If You Go
What: Mudslinging Extravaganza
When: 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12
Where: Artisans at the Dahmen Barn, 419 N. Park Way, Uniontown
Cost: $5 admission