July 11, 2014

Art with a bit of celebration

PLATTSBURGH — The Strand Center for the Arts is teaching aspiring potters how to throw clay as they sip wine.

The Mud & Merlot series, a two-hour class held every other Thursday, gives participants an opportunity to create two pieces of pottery.

“You don’t need any experience,” said Rebecca Conklin, who has been teaching the program for two years at the Strand Center, formerly North Country Cultural Center for the Arts. 

“It’s all about having fun.”

The wine comes in at the beginning, when students (age 21 or older only) and instructor toast one another as the contemplate the artistic opportunity before them.

Then Conklin gives brief demonstration, and students are given clay to shape and glaze under her guidance.

The pieces they create will be fired and ready for pickup two weeks later.

Kim Lashway admits she hasn’t worked with clay since elementary school, but she and some friends often try new things as a group.

“We find things on Facebook or the Internet that we find challenging, and we do it,” she says, referring to her four friends who attended the event with her.

In addition to the instructed classes, the studio is broadly available to the public.

“This studio is open to the community to access,” says Conklin “They can purchase clay, use the wheel, glazes, kiln — all of that.”

“It’s a gem for Plattsburgh."

Mud & Merlot is filled up for its remaining sessions. Find out about other classes and activities put on by the Strand Center, located at 23 Brinkerhoff St., at:

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