A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Artisan Center features demonstrations from state ceramic artists beginning Saturday

During the month of September the Kentucky Artisan Center will present demonstrations by five Kentucky ceramic artisans who create functional, sculptural, decorative and folk art pottery from a variety of clays.

On Saturday, Sept. 2, Robert and Sparkie Brigl, of Bowling Green, will demonstrate how they sculpt their whimsical pottery face jugs from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Center.

Robert Brigl poses with clay face jugs at the Kentucky Artisan Center (Photo Provided)

Drawn to the traditional forms of American folk pottery, Robert Brigl makes both functional and sculptural ceramic jugs and bottles on the potter’s wheel. He and his wife Sparkie then sculpt these thrown forms with faces and figures by adding coils and pieces of clay to their surfaces. They often makes the eyes from white porcelain clay.

On Saturday, Sept. 9, Alice Lloyd College art professor Mike Ware will throw pots on the wheel and demonstrate his unique carved decorating technique, from 10:30 to 3:30 at the center.

Ware creates his pottery on a potter’s wheel from stoneware clays. He often decorates his forms with images such as dogwood flowers, influenced by the woods near his home. He decorates his pottery using an incising tool that cuts away clay and leaves intricate texture and openings in the form.

On Saturday, Sept. 9, the Kentucky Artisan Center will offer visitors free guided tours through the center’s gallery exhibit, “225: Artists Celebrate Kentucky’s History” and the lobby exhibit, “Agate: Jewel of Kentucky.” Tours are at 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m.

Three members of the Berea Welcome Center Carvers will demonstrate a variety of woodcarving styles and techniques on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center.

On Saturday, Sept. 23, Kristal Gilkey, of Alley Cat Pottery, will demonstrate pottery on the wheel from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Gilkey makes a line of functional kitchenware such as apple bakers, batter bowls, egg separators and cream-and-sugar sets. She fires her work in an electric kiln and uses smooth dishwasher-safe and ovenproof glazes.

On Saturday, Sept. 30, Karen Brown-Levy, of Louisville, will demonstrate her hand-built clay pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center.

Beginning with a wheel-thrown bulbous bottle form, she uses hand-building techniques to cut, shape and re-form the clay, adding a curling clay handle for a vine-like final touch. Brown-Levy’s series of ceramic pumpkins led her to begin to create clay jack-o’-lanterns with expressive faces, accentuated when lit by a candle.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is located at 200 Artisan Way, just off Interstate 75 at Berea Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily, year-round, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

For more information about center events call 859-985-5448, go to the center’s website, or visit the center’s Facebook page.

From Kentucky Artisan Center

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