2005-07-29 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance Pottery And Shacks
by Susan Hartenstein

Rockaway Artists Alliance
Pottery And Shacks – For Both Beginners and Old Hands

Last year’s “Shack Attack” was a huge success and large numbers of participants are expected this year.Last year’s “Shack Attack” was a huge success and large numbers of participants are expected this year. SHACK ATTACK 2005! 

CHILDREN OF ALL AGES: Beach Bums, Lifeguards, Bathing Beauties, Surfers, Parks Employees, Moms, Dads, & Little Ones.

Let’s make the Beach 117 Street Life Guard Shack our own again.

Come and help decorate the re-painted shack NEXT TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, Noon until 4 p.m. Dress for mess - bring your sunblock. Paints and brushes donated by RAA, refreshments from the Beach Club, hats from West End Realty.

Reminder of a call to artists: the Rockaway Artists Alliance is presenting Sewn and Thrown: A Pottery and Quilt Exhibition of Juried Original Works, to be exhibited in sTudio 7 Gallery at Fort Tilden, Rockaway Center for the Arts from November 12 to December 18.

Event Eligibility:

USA Quilters and Potters: Minimum 18 years of age. Quilt works: works submitted must be fabric and have the structure of a quilt, composed with at least two full and distinct layers, held together by hand or machine–made stitching.

No kits, no “cheater cloth” or tied quilts, will be accepted. Work must be the artist’s original design, not a copy or variations of another artist.

Pottery: All works, sculptural, decorative and functional must be original, and be made primarily of clay. Ceramic sculptures will not be accepted.

All accepted works must be suitably prepared with proper supports, hanging devises and, if needed, clear instructions for installation.

NOT ELIGIBLE: work previously displayed in an RAA exhibition.

Deadline for receipt of entries: October 7.

Visit: www.rockawayartistsalliance for full prospectus and entry form or email:rockart116@aol.com or phone: 718 474-0861.

Free adult education workshop in August: Still Life in Various Mediums. Class to be held in RoCA@Fort Tilden. The mediums include sculpture and cut-out drawing in watercolor paper, clay bas relief and more.

If you are interested call the RAA office for dates and times. 718 474-0861.

Want to know? The basics of pottery: Pottery begins with the shaping of wet clay. Then it may be decorated and glazed. Glazes are not only a means of decoration. They also serve to waterproof the piece. Finally, the piece is baked or “fired” in order to harden it.

The pottery can be decorative and/or practical. It includes items such as bowls, lamps, vases and dishes. Pottery can be divided into three classifications, according to content and the temperature at which it is fired. Earthenware is composed basically of clay, sometimes blended clay, and baked at the lowest temperatures of the three categories. e makes possible the use of colorful glazes, but makes it more susceptible to cracks and chips. Stoneware is composed of a heavier clay mixture. Glazing at high temperatures makes the clay non-porous, thus yielding a harder finish. Porcelain is the third category of pottery and was invented by the Chinese.

The clay contains decayed feldspar, called kaolin, which in Chinese means “high place,” indicating where the material was originally found. Pottery techniques include throwing, that is throwing and shaping the clay on a wheel, or hand building. In the latter, the piece may be formed from pinching the clay, shaping coils of clay or slabs of clay, or any combination of these methods.

The art of pottery has been around since ancient times. Specimens date as far back as the Jomon period (from about 10,500 to 400 BC) in Japan. Pieces have been found in the Near East and China that were produced thousands of years ago and examples have been uncovered in Latin America from pre-Columbian times. Basic techniques have not varied much over the millennia, with the exception that the pottery wheel was not known about in ancient America.

Decorating techniques have included impressing, incising, inlay and even “scratching.” Pottery and porcelain can be painted under a glaze or over the glaze.

Come to RoCA@Fort Tilden in the fall and discover the possibilities.

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