Burlington Art Center Hosts Live Pottery Contest

Television’s popular knockout skills competition, the Great Pottery Throw Down, has sparked interest in ceramics, and a similar kind of fun is coming to the Burlington Art Center.

Great River Pottery Throw Down is 5-9 p.m. Saturday at 301 Jefferson St.

In front of an audience, six of the region’s most talented potters will compete and raise funds for the Art Centre’s rapidly growing ceramics studio, in an event much like the annual Battle of the Brushes competition. of the Center.

The BBC show Great Pottery Throw Down “definitely” inspired Saturday’s event, said Hillaurie Fritz-Bonar, director of communications at the Burlington Art Centre.

She explained, “Our challenges will be all-wheel throwing and achievable goals in 20 minutes or less.”

The events will begin with a warm-up challenge.

Potters will have to make a vase, two identical cups, a piece that mimics a human figure, throw blindfolded, “and many other things that will surprise our competitors,” Fritz-Bonar said.

The artists will be judged and one of them will win a prize of $250.

The pieces will be drawn at random right after the competition.

The raffle winners will be able to choose from different glaze options for their finished piece. The pieces will have to be recovered later after firing and enameling.

Spectator tickets are $15 each; a table for four is $75.

The Gallery Lounge will feature live music, beer, wine and charcuterie boards and baked goods.

Here are the six potters, with biographies taken from the Burlington Art Center website.

  • Linda Ross: Ross works in her own studio built by her husband. Since you can turn cylinders into anything, these are his favorite shapes to craft. “She loves taking that cylinder off the steering wheel and turning it into something fun and funky.”
  • Lillian Rubin: Rubin worked in ceramics for three quarters of her life. She has been part of the Art Center’s growing ceramics department since the beginning. “His favorite things to create on the lathe are the large raku vases and modified decorative pieces.”
  • Ryan Smith: A clay maker for two years, he developed his skills faster than the average artist. Art is a healthy outlet on his healing journey, and he has a studio in his garage. “His favorite things to create are raku planters, which go hand in hand with his succulent company ‘Spikes and Sucs’.”
  • Detrich Totemeier: His love of the medium began in John Bybee’s Southeastern Community College ceramics class, and he’s been working with clay for nine years. He mainly makes bowls, but is also interested in cups, vases and modified pieces. “What started out as a fun way to earn college credit has become what seems like a lifelong passion.”
  • Jessi Tucci: A ceramic artist for 15 years, Tucci came up with the idea for Saturday’s fundraiser. She used a potter’s wheel in her high school’s ceramics room after school. After high school, she moved away but still took a ceramics course in college, racking up way more art credits than she needed. Her passion is functional pottery and her funniest projects are making mugs, because “Who doesn’t love their coffee in a beautiful, handmade mug?”
  • Myrna Joy Wenger: Wenger said her reason for creating was that it was great therapy. Her son Seth is her biggest cheerleader and helps her move heavy clay and set up her oven at home. Since she can offer her work to friends and family, she enjoys doing functional work: “Who wouldn’t want handmade mugs and bowls in their kitchen?”

John Bybee will host the event. Audience members will receive clay to work with during the competition.

Great Pottery Throw Down is said to have caused British artisans to buy more pottery products and take ceramics courses.

Did the show help the Burlington Pottery Studio become more popular?

“I personally can’t say if the show sparked an interest in ceramics, but I can say that the Burlington Art Center sparked an interest in our community,” Fritz-Bonar said.

“We have consistently filled classes and seen a rapid increase in the number of ceramic-specific members using our studio. Our pottery classes have really grown in recent years. We regularly organize Give It A Spin workshops.”

In this 2.5 hour lesson, the instructor demonstrates and then students toss their own coins.

“If they like what they’re making, they can pay an extra $10 to come back the next week to glaze the fired pieces. We started these sessions on Friday evenings and, due to popularity, we also extended some sessions on Sundays,” Fritz-Bonar said.

“We also offer longer six-week wheel sessions, hand-build workshops and two-part workshops. All of our pottery classes are suitable for beginners.

To learn more, visit btownart.com