Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Worcester Center for Crafts Offices Close at NOON, 2/7/2018 | Afternoon and Evening Classes CANCELLED

Wednesday, February 7, 2018.

Worcester Center for Crafts Wednesday AFTERNOON & EVENING classes are CANCELLED for February 7, 2018 due to inclement weather.

Please stay warm and stay safe!

Pasta Dinner with a Twist Offered by Worcester Center for Crafts | You Go Home with Your Plate!

Artist-in-Residence, Faith Connor,
wheelthrowing a plate
Worcester, MA - The ceramic studios have been humming in production to create the hand-made plates which will be offered at this year's PASTA DINNER at the Worcester Center for Crafts on Saturday, March 3, 2018.

The premise of the Pasta Dinner is simple: come for good food and good company, see great photography in the Ron Rosenstock show (last day), and go home with a hand-crafted ceramic plate. Pre-paid reservations are requested. There is one continuous seating at 6:15pm. Reservations are $45 per person/plate; children under 12 are $10 per person (paper plate). Beer and wine will be available for purchase. Tickets are available online at, or by calling 508-753-8183 x 301, Mon, 9-2, Tues-Fri, 10-5.

Want to avoid the rush and get first dibs on plates? A special VIP ticket is available at $65 per person/plate which gives holders an early bird (5:30pm) admission to pick out plates, festive appetizers and a free libation-and, of course, the knowledge that they are helping to support the Craft Center's service to the craft community. Ciao Bella is catering the dinner. Vegetarian and gluten-free options will be available upon request.

Committee members working on the 2018 event include Birgit Straehle, Tina Zlody, Tracy Dill, Honee Hess, Tom O'Malley, Deb Shrier, and Candace Casey.

The process that is creating all of these plates is very photogenic and lends itself to video as well. Plates are being made on the potters' wheel ("thrown") and hand-built. For both, the clay first is wedged and made suitable for throwing or shaping. A thrown plate begins with a lump of clay centered on the potters' wheel which is then pulled into a plate shape. It is dried slightly and trimmed-at this point it is called greenware (see photo of greenware plates drying). Hand-built plates are shaped by hand, sometimes through pinching, sometimes by rolling out the clay much like rolling out a pie crust. Once shaped, it is dried and decorated. Both thrown plates and hand-built plates are put into an electric kiln and fired to bisque stage-hard but not impervious to water. It is at the bisque stage that glazes and slips are applied. The glazed plates are then placed in the kiln again, but this time at a higher temperature and the glaze fuses with the clay producing the final plate.


Plate display from Pasta Dinner 2017

Diners can expect the unexpected after dinner, including music circa Frank Sinatra, handmade desserts, and demonstrations in the Ceramics Studio showing how the evening's plates were made. A silent auction of fine art craft and delectables will also be held and will include a basket of wine, a soup tureen by Rosalie Olds, a cooking lesson by two extraordinary home chefs, Flying lessons, a clock crafted by Metals Department Manager Pam Farren, and a few surprises!


About the Worcester Center for Crafts:

The Worcester Center for Crafts (WCC) is one of the oldest non-profit institutions for craft study in the United States. Founded in 1856 as the Worcester Employment Society to help immigrant women produce and sell hand-crafted wares to support their families, the Center evolved over the past 155 years into New England's leading center for craft education, exhibition and entrepreneurship. In 2004, the organization expanded and opened the New Street Glass Studio - an off-campus, 8,000 square foot, state-of-the-art, multi-studio glass facility. The WCC offers the only comprehensive glass studio program in New England available to the public.  Through an affiliation begun in 2009, the WCC is home to the Worcester State University visual arts studios and partners in community outreach.

The Craft Center's mission is "to sustain craft as a vital part of our community" by providing high-quality craft education and training, by supporting craft artists in their professions, and through advocacy and public education initiatives including adult education classes and workshops, exhibitions showcasing the work of established and emerging artists, artist residencies, lectures, family events, studio rentals, Gallery Store, its Youth Craft + Creativity program and major events. The WCC is a member of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.