On Saturday, Dec. 6, visitors to the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea will experience the arts through demonstrations, book signings and music as Wyman Rice, of Lexington, demonstrates his sculptural hand-built pottery, Stephen M. Vest and James B. Goode sign copies of Kentucky’s Twelve Days of Christmas, and musicians Kyle Meadows and Tisa McGraw, of Cold Spring, fill the air with holiday favorites.
From 10:30 to 3:30 that Saturday, Wyman Rice will create hand-built pottery from slabs and coils of clay. Working without a potter’s wheel, he constructs his sculptural pieces one at a time. Clay is rolled out into sheets, allowed to stiffen, and then joined together to create unique and organic forms. Rice also builds with coils of clay, shaping and finishing each form by hand.
Looking to nature and the human figure for inspiration, Rice fires most of his work using the raku firing process. This process requires the pottery to be glazed and fired very quickly, removed immediately from the kiln while red hot, and either plunged into water, or placed into combustible materials, such as sawdust or shredded newspaper.
“The Raku firing process creates finished surfaces that can be quite colorful,” he said, “with the clay itself becoming a charcoal gray or black.”
Rice’s works are regularly featured at the Kentucky Artisan Center, and he has a hand-built teapot titled, “Industrial Teapot # 4” in the center’s current exhibit, “Put a Lid On It,” on display through Feb. 28, 2015.
On Dec. 6, James B. Goode and Stephen M. Vest, editor and publisher of Kentucky Monthly magazine will sign copies of the holiday anthology Kentucky’s Twelve Days of Christmas from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This hardbound book includes works from Kentucky writers Harriette Arnow, Wendell Berry, Irvin S. Cobb, James B. Goode, Stephen M. Vest, Frank X. Walker, Robert Penn Warren, Crystal Wilkinson and many more.
Also Dec. 6, Kyle Meadows and Tisa McGraw will perform holiday music on hammer dulcimer and Celtic harp in informal sets from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Center.
Both Meadows and McGraw have been playing music for most of their lives. Born in North Carolina, Meadows began his career in music as a child, learning to play the piano by ear. As a teenager, he taught himself how to play the hammer dulcimer and now has been playing for over 20 years. He is known locally and nationally as a hammer dulcimer musician and has appeared on stage with such musicians and groups as Mark O’Conner, Homer Ledford and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
McGraw also began playing the piano as a small child. She played electric bass with a rock ’n’ roll band for many years before turning to the world of harp music. McGraw has been playing the Celtic harp for 15 years, gaining a reputation for her delicate and beautiful handling of the instrument, doubtlessly influenced by her years of practice as a massage therapist.
As a duo, Meadows and McGraw have been performing together eight years and have played a variety of events from coffeehouses to concert halls.
Ceramics by Rice, Kentucky Monthly books and recordings by Meadows and McGraw are regularly available at the Kentucky Artisan Center, located at 200 Artisan Way, just off Interstate 75 at Berea Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel and information areas are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information about events call 859-985-5448, go to the center’s website at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov or visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kentucky.artisan.center