We loaded & fired the pit on Wednesday, September 14. This was after months of preparation, including two classes on Pit Fire Techniques and several teams of CAC members going out to collect seaweed and dried cow pies (among other things). Shown below is the preparation of the pit and subsequent loading of our pieces (many of them wrapped in newspaper) into the pit.
Here are more shots of the Pit Fire Team (led by Patty Taylor and assisted by Anne Shulenberger) preparing the pit: sprinkling all around the carefully placed pieces with a mixture of salt and copper carbonate, putting on cow patties and seaweed, adding crumpled newspaper & kindling wood, then stacking firewood logs on top of everything - plus more paper & kindling!
With everything loaded inside, some long metal pipes were placed over the pit. Then we had our ceremonial blessing of the pit, led by Darryla Green and accompanied by Doc King and Damon Shulenberger (Anne’s son), on native drum and flute. Almost ready for the firing!
Next came the lighting of the pit, using charcoal lighter fluid and long torches of rolled up newspaper. The fire blazed up and eventually subsided into smoldering embers. Very dramatic & beautiful! Everyone left the area and relaxed, as the pit crew shared some pizza. Finally - once the flames had died down - the whole pit was covered with metal sheets that were placed on top of the metal pipes, to concentrate the smoke within. And finally. it was left that way for 2 days.
Below is the pit when it was cold and we uncovered & unloaded it, on September 16. Lots of beautiful pottery and sculpture came out of the fire! We got some beautiful colors & colors this time – a really wide variety.
After unloading, sorting & cleaning the ceramic pieces of ash & debris, we had a wonderful potluck lunch right there in the studio, as we celebrated among our new treasures. It was an amazing Pit Fire, well worth the wait!
We gathered to remember and honor Fred Chen the evening of August 30. This event was attended by several members of the family of Fred Chen including his widow, two children and two grandchildren. It began in the Patio area of the Totem Poles, which is paved with a field of memorial bricks, and featured the dedication of two bricks in Fred’s memory: one in Chinese and one in English. At the same time, members of CAC and Fred’s family shared memories of this wonderful man who had passed away in January and is so dearly missed by all.
After the dedication of the bricks, light refreshments were served (top right photo) inside of the Ceramic Studio. On two tables inside the studio some of Fred Chen’s beautiful pottery was on display (top left photo), as well as a few of his unfinished pieces (top middle photo), along with his tools, brushes, an apron, etc. His family has recently donated many pieces of Fred’s pottery to the Ceramic Arts Club, to benefit the organization which was such an important part of his life.
As you can tell from the pictures below, all those who attended had a wonderful time at this moving and inspiring event. Fred Chen has left a remarkable legacy, and will be long remembered by the Rossmoor Ceramic Arts Club!
Our monthly Show and Tell sessions resumed in June - they hadn't happened since the shutdown of our studio in March 2020. And starting in July, these are now being combined with a celebration of the birthdays of all CAC members born that month who attend the event. Photos below, starting with June's Show and Tell.
In July we had a Show and Tell, but for some inexplicable reason no photos are available, except for the ones below, showing Mary Ann giving Anne S. some flowers for her birthday (in a very cool unique hand-decorated bottle).
August's Show and Tell was quite lively, and included a celebration for the birthdays of three members: Patty T., Betty B., and Amy P. - see photos below
This was held in the Rossmoor Event Center the evening of August 23. As you can see, it was very popular with Carolyn's friends & family! Our own Mel Bricker interviewed Carolyn about her life as an artist. In addition to the many sculptures on display, there was a slideshow of other pieces, including some large public sculptures that Carolyn has created over the years - all of which was quite impressive. We had a nice selection of light refreshments, and a wonderful time was had by all who attended!
Activities of CAC
Artists at work and play in our studio!