Last week as I was looking through our local paper for upcoming events to put on our Utah’s Canyon Country website, I came across ‘Meet the Artist Night’ at the Blue Mountain Artisan’s Gallery in Blanding and decided to go. I’ve been wanting to do a blog post on the gallery for quite a while now, so I figured this would be a good chance to kill two birds with one stone!
I arrived a little early and saw that they were still in the process of setting everything up, so I went inside the gallery to look around a little. This was my first visit to the gallery, and I was really surprised at all the different types of art they have on display! Paintings, photographs, sculptures, jewelry, pottery… there are definitely some very talented people around here!
The featured artist for the week was Michael Porter and he was demonstrating ‘Raku’ firing- a Japanese pottery firing technique. When I came across his pottery in the gallery, I immediately recognized his license plate mugs- I had seen them at the Blue Mountain Art Market at the beginning of the month.
After taking my time and looking at all the beautiful work in the gallery, I headed back outside to see if everything was ready to go. I introduced myself to Mike and he immediately began telling me about the process of pottery firing and showing me the steps for making his license plate mugs.
I had seen his mugs before, but one thing I hadn’t noticed was that the bottoms of them each have an image of a different classic car on them, which he carves these by hand.
When a group had gathered around the table, Mike started his demonstration. He walked a volunteer through the process of making her own license plate mug, starting with cutting a thin sheet of clay off the large block that was sitting on the table. Then he showed her how to press it into the mold that he had made. Next, they sat it upright and shaped it into a mug, added the bottom, and attached a handle. It was amazing to see how quickly it took shape and actually looked like a usable mug!
They were just starting up the kiln when I had to leave, so unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the finished product. (But I’m working on getting a hold of some of the people who were there in hopes of getting a picture of the finished mug.)
*And I was especially disappointed that I had to leave early because they were going to be roasting hotdogs and marshmallows over the kiln while they were waiting for the pottery to fire! What a great idea! I wish I could have stayed for it!
The Blue Mountain Artisan’s Gallery will be holding ‘Meet the Artist Night’ every other Thursday evening throughout the summer (2013) and each night will feature a different local artist demonstrating their talent. Some of the upcoming demonstrations for the summer are; Navajo pottery carving, musicians, and an Anasazi pottery expert. Please check our Utah’s Canyon Country website for more information.
Distance from the Blue Mountain Artisan’s Gallery to lodging in San Juan County, Utah:
- Blanding: 0 miles/0 km
- Monticello: 22 miles/35 km
- Bluff: 26 miles/42 km
- Mexican Hat: 52 miles/ 84 km
- La Sal: 65 miles/105 km
- Monument Valley: 73 miles/117 km
For more information or to request travel brochures, please call Utah’s Canyon Country at: 800-574-4386
Or e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org