October brings pottery events to KY Artisan Center

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Kentucky Artisan Center logo Berea

BEREA, Ky. (WTVQ) – In October the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea offers “Feats of Clay,” a series of clay demonstrations by four Kentucky potters. From hand built jugs to wheel thrown pottery, visitors will have the chance to watch the magic as potters turn lumps of clay into dinnerware, vessels and sculptures.

On Saturday, Oct. 1, Waco potter Bill Whitt will demonstrate how he builds clay bottles and jugs from slabs and coils of clay from 10:30 to 3:30 at the center.

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A native Kentuckian, Bill Whitt owns and operates Flatwoods Pottery in a renovated barn next to his house outside of Waco. Bill is a member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen and he creates high fired functional works from both stoneware and porcelain. He specializes in smooth rich glazes and forms with simple lines allowing the natural throwing rings to show in the work.

Alley Cat Pottery artist Kristal Gilkey, of Berea, will demonstrate pottery on the wheel on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 10:30 to 3:30 at the Center. With amazing speed, Gilkey creates a wide range of functional kitchen wares on the potter’s wheel.

Gilkey makes a line of functional kitchen wares 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 oven-proof glazes. Gilkey’s pie dishes and apple bakers are very useful for baking and the choice of glaze colors available make them perfect for presentation at the table.

On Saturday, Oct. 15, three members of the Berea Welcome Center Carvers will demonstrate woodcarving from 10:30 to 3:30 at the Center. This group regularly demonstrates on the third Saturday of every month at the center.

Ceramic artist Robert Brigl, of Bowling Green, will create pottery face jugs at the center on Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10:30 to 3:30.

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

On Saturday, Oct. 29, 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.

The Kentucky Artisan Center features the work of over 70 Kentucky ceramic artists and is located just off Interstate 75 at Exit 77. The center’s exhibit, shopping and travel information areas are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea currently features works by more than 700 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. Special exhibits on display include “Have a Seat: Chairs by Kentucky Artisans,” and in the lobby, “Kentucky Clay: A Continuing Tradition,” and ”Reveal: Monica Pipia.” For more information about events call 859-985-5448, or visit the center’s website or Facebook page.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.