Class will get loose with Clay and Cabernet
Park City ceramicist Stacy Baer knows the power of art.
She has taught pottery in juvenile detention centers.
“Many of them came from troubled backgrounds, and I spend time to work with them to provide an outlet for their energies, whether it was positive or negative. Everyone needs an outlet and art is a beautiful one,” Baer told The Park Record.
The artist also has introduced ceramics to people with special needs and Alzheimer’s patients.
“They are in a place where they don’t have the (social) boundaries that we have,” Baer said. “No one has really told them that they are too old to play, and the pieces of art that they make always bring tears to my eyes.”
Baer wants to introduce more people to ceramics and some fine local wines, so she has partnered with the DeJoria Center for the first Clay and Cabernet session that will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 11, at the DeJoria Center, 970 N. S.R. 32.
The cost is $60 and participants must be at least 21 years old. To register, visit http://www.dejoriacenter.com.
“The idea is a twist on what people call ‘paint and sip,’” Baer said. “Instead of painting, we’ll do ceramics.”
The class won’t use a throwing wheel, like the one in the iconic love scene in the movie “Ghost,” Baer explained.
“We won’t act like Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore,” Baer said laughing. “We’ll hand-build the items. And let me say, there are so many beautiful pieces that are done by hand building.”
The pieces will also have function.
“We’ll make serving platters, casserole dishes and coffee mugs, things like that,” Baer said.
The class is open to all levels of artists, especially those who have never taken an art class.
“If you can follow the bouncing ball (as in a sing-along), which is me, you will be able to do this,” Baer promised. “You just need to listen to what I say and let your imagination run wild.”
Baer will provide all supplies.
“Everyone will get a slab that they can put their clay on to make their creations,” she said. “I bring the clay and gobs of things they can decorate their projects with.”
Baer will show the class how to cut out shapes and how to put the pieces together.
“It will be time-consuming, because they will have to be particular about each piece,” she said. “If they make a bowl or mug, they have to make sure it’s not full of little holes where the liquid will seep out.”
While class members design their works, they will get to taste some wine.
“Wine is a beautiful thing, and I think in another lifetime I would be a level III sommelier, but I can’t focus long enough to do that because the art gets in the way,” Baer giggled. “We will sample what the DeJoria Center has in their supply. Wine is the elixir of the soul. It tends to loosen people’s inhibitions, which is great.”
Once participants finish their pieces, they will decorate them, and then Baer will fire the works.
“The first firing is a bisque firing, which we do before the piece is glazed,” she said. “Then, after its glazed, we fire it again and the piece is complete.”
Since glazing is different process, Baer, who will glaze the pieces herself, will offer her class the opportunity to choose the colors.
“I’ll bring in some samples that they can see,” she said. “I can do solid colors, I can also fade colors.”
The class will pick the pieces up at a later date.
“Pottery isn’t an instant-gratification art,” Baer explained. “It has to dry and sometimes that takes days or even weeks, depending on the weather and nature.”
Clay and Cabernet sessions can accommodate up to 20 people.
“I like to be able to give individual attention to the students, because there are always questions that need to be answered,” Baer said. “There will be some people who will get it right away, and there will be some who will have more questions.”
The ceramicist, who is also a painter and jeweler, said she enjoys working with clay because it comes from the earth.
“It’s dirt,” she said. “It’s where we’re from. When you work with clay, you’re playing with mud. Have you every played in the mud when you were a kid? Do you remember how fun that was? This is the same thing, but here you make a mud pie you can save and use or give as a gift.”
Baer said she is overjoyed with the opportunity to host Clay and Cabernet.
“Pablo Picasso said, ‘Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.’ And I find that to be so true,” she said. “Art is a driving force in me. Art has made me a stronger human being. I’ve had cancer twice in my life and it has helped me get through it. Life is way too short and way too precious to spend on things that aren’t beautiful.”
Clay and Cabernet will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 11, at the DeJoria Center, 970 N. S.R. 32 in Kamas. To register, visit http://www.dejoriacenter.com.
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