On Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13 and 14, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Newcastle will welcome visitors for an insider’s look at the atmospheric kiln-firing process as part of Maine Craft Weekend’s open studios event.
Throughout the weekend, regional artists Sarah Burns, Tim Christensen, Lisa Evans, Jean Hardy, Jon Ho, and Brooke Hoerner will unbrick the doors of Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts’ wood and soda kilns and sell work hot off the shelves. Visitors can take part in the kiln-opening process and get a firsthand glimpse alongside the artists at the newly finished work.
While potters spend a great deal of time working alone in their studios, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts provides a space where makers can convene and create together. Firing a wood kiln or a salt kiln requires a community effort and offers a chance for clay artists to gather, share ideas, and collaborate.
Christensen makes his home in Roque Bluffs, but regularly treks to Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts to fire the kilns. After a successful kiln firing and sale at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts during 2017 Maine Craft Weekend, Christensen was excited to repeat the experience this year.
“We choose to hold our Maine Craft Weekend events at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts because everything we need to both have a successful firing and opening are there: friendly, helpful, open, knowledgeable people, and first-rate equipment,” Christensen said.
Maine Craft Weekend is a statewide, self-guided tour that provides the public with an opportunity to explore the life and work of artisans in their communities. The weekend happens in conjunction with American Craft Week, a nationwide celebration of craft that features events across the U.S. The Maine Craft Association organizes the tour in partnership with Maine Made. For more information on Maine Craft Weekend, go to mainecraftweekend.org.
Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts is located at 19 Brick Hill Road in Newcastle. The Maine Craft Weekend open house will begin at 10 a.m. on Oct. 13 and 14 and run until mid-afternoon each day, when the kilns are fully unloaded and/or the majority of the work has been purchased. The artists plan to unload and sell work from the wood kiln on Saturday and the gas-salt kiln on Sunday. To learn more about Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, go to watershedceramics.org.