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It's Tour de Clay time

Tour de Clay covers a lot of ground geographically and artistically. It's a big ceramics shout-out on Saturday and Sunday that roams through four counties and six studios, this year featuring work by 20 creative and diverse ceramic artists.

The studios have staggered their Saturday kiln openings so you can experience the potential drama more than once during the day. (A kiln opening can be, to a potter, like the opening of an ancient tomb; you never know if you'll find your lovely objects intact or in shards.)

Most will have demonstrations, and many will have entertainment and refreshments, culminating with a big party from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday at San Antonio Pottery. It's all free except for the art, of course, which could shorten your holiday shopping list considerably.

New to Tour de Clay, now in its fourth year, is a drawing to win a pot from a group donated by the studios. Tickets are $5, and all proceeds benefit local charities, which range from arts programs to animal agencies. Go to tampa tourdeclay.com for more information, a map and directions to each studio.

Lennie Bennett can be reached at lbennett@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8293.

ARTpool Gallery has moved from its teeny-tiny spot to a spacious storefront, and that's reason to celebrate. The grand opening kicks off with Wicked Winter Wonderland, an art and fashion show featuring theatrical and couture local runway designs, video art projections and more at 8 p.m. Saturday at 2030 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15 advance, $20 at the door. (727) 324-3878. Of course, you must wear something festive. Sequins would be nice.

TOUR DE CLAY 2011

Six studios spread through Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando Counties will be open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with works by 20 ceramic artists. Most will have demonstrations both days. Kiln openings will be staggered on Saturday. A free reception with music and refreshments will be at San Antonio Pottery from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday. All events are free.

POTTERY BOYS CLAY STUDIO

30 Bogie Lane, Palm Harbor

(727) 504-6200

Ceramics by Glenn Woods, Keith Herbrand, Andy Smith and William Kidd

Kiln opening at 9 a.m.

CLAY AND PAPER STUDIO

110 Peterson Lane, Palm Harbor

(727) 772-9570

Cermics by Ira Burhans and John Moore

Kiln opening at 10 a.m.

RISING SUN POTTERY

600 N Delaware Ave., Tampa

(813) 253-6055

Ceramics by Peter Streit, Joshua Streit and Richard Walbart

Kiln opening at noon

WELLMAN AND WELSCH POTTERY

17202 Whirley Road, Lutz

(813) 961-7106

Ceramics by Harry Welsch, Kim Wellman and John Kellum

Kiln opening at 2 p.m.

HIDDEN LAKE POTTERY

16705 Hutchinson Road, Odessa

(813) 920-4341

Ceramics by Kim Kirchman, Mark Fehl, L.C. Mcgee, Chuck Mcgee, Kimberli Cummings and Jonathan Barnes

Kiln opening at 3 p.m.

SAN ANTONIO POTTERY

11903 Curley Road, San Antonio

(352) 588-4228

Ceramics by Jack Boyle, McKenzie Smith, Michele Ginouves and Susan Livingston

Kiln opening at 5 p.m.

It's Tour de Clay time 12/07/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 3:30am]

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