Monday, January 27, 2014

200 Pounds of Clay and the North Pole Bar on Raleigh Street

47 years experience.*
Inasmuch as we practically live in the North Pole as it is, I decided to check in at the North Pole Bar on Saturday to see how their Beer for Bowls event was shaping up. I can't recall a winter with so many school closing due to cold. In fact, I can't recall ever hearing of school closings due to cold. Dangerous road conditions? Sure. But not cold.

Inside the North Pole Bar the atmosphere was swimmingly upbeat and warm. I came early in the day and found the pottery wheels active, and a growing number of participants on hand, prepping the raw clay for throwing bowls.

Tonya Borgeson of Snoodle Ceramic Studio seems to be a master of making events like this happen, inviting participation from rookie to pro. This coming Saturday, February 1, is the sequel to this bowl-throwing fest, the Glaze-A-Thon at the Lake Superior College Art Building, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The setup went like this. There were three pottery wheels early in the day and 200 pounds of clay. Those who arrived to make pots would take turns in fifteen minute increments. 75 cents got you a chance to make pottery AND get a free beer.

Borgeson (L) with North Pole owner Barb Stevens
When I arrived two of the wheels were occupied by women involved with art therapy in different capacities, Andrea Boyadjis and Sarah Riley. Both attended UWS and have applied their creative skills to the professions aimed toward healing, by means of the arts. Stated Riley, "I realized that art was always for me."

Other potters on hand early in the day included the experienced Viki Day, Theresa Hoffmann, Matt Larson and Kitty Sabelman of Dragonfire Ceramics. Even the North Pole's new owner Barb Stevens rolled up her sleeves to make bowls when it came her turn.

Seeing the Northland's potters getting bowls ready for April's Second Harvest Fund Raiser truly is one of the early signs of spring. With so much action underway, one can't help but be hopeful that a thaw will eventually be near. I thinik I'll just ignore that 30 below thermometer reading this morning and think warm.

Early signs of spring at the North Pole Bar.

*Top right: Viki McFall (L) with Tonya Borgeson. 

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