Thursday, December 14, 2017
Arts

Pottery offers diversion for Pasco students in summer

HOLIDAY — School's out but summertime opens the door to trying something new. Maybe take a crack at kneading and rolling a mound of clay into a treasured creation, and learn how to handle such artisan tools as the potters needle, fettling knife and the clay roller that's ever so handy when it comes to flattening slab into workable form.

At the Pasco Arts Center, the making of a marbled vase starts with a ball of brown and cream clay, an empty wine bottle wrapped in newspaper, and the newfound knowledge of how to handle those tools.

Christa Stanelun, 71, a soft-spoken potter who honed her talent in the center's basement workroom, serves as instructor for the passel of youngsters sitting quietly while she demonstrates the steps of creating a useful piece of art.

Slab or hand-built pottery is a painstakingly patient kind of process. It takes time to work the clay, slicing it into pieces — not too thick, not too thin — before rolling them into flat circles that are then scored with the potters needle that's been dipped in water.

"It seems to me everyone's done rolling, squishing and squeezing their clay" Stanelun told her students during a recent class. "Now we're going to put it on the bottle."

Mya McGrath, 11, works with an intense purpose, finishing before the rest.

"Some people have naturally good hands," Stanelun said with a smile as others mixed work with light banter.

Best friends Madelyn Meyer and Emma Peterson, both 10, sit side-by-side building their vases from the bottom up as they chat about the drawing class they plan to take next and their hopes of being in the same classroom when school begins again next month.

"Is that okay?" Madelyn asked her friend, after pressing another piece of clay onto the bottle.

"Yeah, it's perfect," Emma replied before asking the teacher when they'll be able to take their creations home.

Pottery is a step-by-step process, she reminded them. Her students will have to wait a couple more weeks, as there's firing in the kiln and glazing to be done.

But there's a payoff for biding time: seeing the transformation that comes when dull, earth-colored clay is baked in a hot oven.

"You will be surprised how this will come out when it is fired," Stanelun said as she pointed to the pieces of multicolored clay. "All the colors that you can't see now — the terra cotta that is brown will look like red brick, and the little bits of chocolate and white earthenware, that will all be brilliant."

Contact Michele Miller at [email protected] or (727) 869-6251. Follow @mmichele525.

Comments
The week in art: Get shopping at markets, explore borders at Silver Meteor

The week in art: Get shopping at markets, explore borders at Silver Meteor

"Wall" Art: Hasta la Visa BabyBorders and walls have been topics of political discussion this year, and art often acts as society’s mirror. Hasta la Visa Baby (yes, visa is intentional) at the Silver Meteor Gallery in Ybor City is more than an art ex...
Published: 12/13/17
Tampa Heights and Seminole Heights a hotbed of underground art

Tampa Heights and Seminole Heights a hotbed of underground art

The eight participants gathered in a garage in the Seminole Heights neighborhood and began lifting the Mercedes-Benz. It took a few tries, but soon they had flipped the vehicle onto its roof. It rested there, rocking, with sequins pouring out of the ...
Published: 12/07/17
Updated: 12/12/17
Take a tour of ceramic art, discover books as an art form and see work by PAVA members

Take a tour of ceramic art, discover books as an art form and see work by PAVA members

Pottery Party: Tampa Bay Tour de ClayTampa Bay is rich with a close knit community of ceramic artists. Our area has a wonderful history of supporting this art form, as evidenced by the Tampa Bay Tour de Clay celebrating its 10th anniversary this week...
Published: 12/06/17
Discover more Gulfport artists and shop artfully for the holidays at Syd Entel Galleries

Discover more Gulfport artists and shop artfully for the holidays at Syd Entel Galleries

DISCOVER MORE ART: ARTJONES STUDIO TOURIt’s hard to overlook the influence that art has on Gulfport, the beachy area that borders St. Petersburg and Boca Ciega Bay. Besides the funky, colorful architecture and artsy vibe, the community has been a hav...
Updated one month ago
4 art exhibits to check out with family (or on your own) over Thanksgiving weekend

4 art exhibits to check out with family (or on your own) over Thanksgiving weekend

Perhaps you have relatives in town for the weekend, and you’re running out of ways to entertain them. Or maybe you’re wondering what to do with your long weekend. There’s a perfect solution for either scenario: Go see some art. There’s plenty on vi...
Updated one month ago
Artist James Rosenquist put Tampa on the map. See his work at USF.

Artist James Rosenquist put Tampa on the map. See his work at USF.

James Rosenquist put Tampa on the art world map, literally. His 1974 lithograph Tampa-New York 1188, created at the University of South Florida’s printmaking workshop, Graphicstudio, brought Tampa to the notice of first-rank museums, collectors, crit...
Updated one month ago
The CraftArt festival returns and Yoko Ono’s flag flies at USFCAM

The CraftArt festival returns and Yoko Ono’s flag flies at USFCAM

A FINE TRADITION: CRAFTART FESTIVALFor 20 years now, Florida CraftArt has been welcoming the season with its annual CraftArt Festival, which returns Saturday and Sunday to downtown St. Petersburg. Unlike other art festivals, you won’t find straight-f...
Updated one month ago
Five cool things to see in ‘Star Wars and the Power of Costume’ in St. Petersburg

Five cool things to see in ‘Star Wars and the Power of Costume’ in St. Petersburg

Do you sense a disturbance in the Force?That would probably be the landing of "Star Wars and the Power of Costume" at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, earlier this week. I got a preview of the blockbuster Smithsonian exhibit (docked in our co...
Updated one month ago