Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Night of Fire

Crealde held an event called "Night of Fire" at the school campus (600 St. Andrews Blvd. in Winter Park). Tiki torches lined either side of the long gravel path leading back to the school. I wandered around trying to decide what I should sketch. There was a huge kiln about 8 feet tall that filled a shed. It was burning hot but there was little activity around it. I then found this little garbage can kiln in action. The garbage can glowed red hot, sitting on top of fire bricks. The flame was fed by a propane gas tank. This is referred to as Raku firing.

Lynn Warnicke would remove a properly heated ceramic pot with long metal tongs and place it in a garbage can with newspapers. The newspapers would smolder and then burn. I was blinded quite a few times by the smoke, finding myself downwind of the cans. A garbage can lid would be lifted and then the tongs would be used again to drop the pot in a vat of water to cool down. The finished and glazed pots would then be lifted by hand and placed on a bench where they were all lined up.

There was a constant flurry of activity and I was never certain if I was catching the right moment. I learned about the process as I sketched and now that I better understand it, I would probably get a better second sketch. There was no time for a second sketch. I walked around searching for Terry. There was a cool sculpture behind the school, lake side, that shot up a blue flame into a tall glass tube. There had been a bronze pour but it was finished before I got there to sketch. A story teller waved her arms as she spoke to enchanted children and parents.

Inside the school, Ken Austin was demonstrating his watercolor techniques and Megan Boye was in the print department showing people the process. There were prints and paper hanging and lying everywhere. It was an amazing event. I probably cold have learned a thing or two had I lingered.


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