Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Worcester Center for Crafts Offices Closed for (3/14/17)

The Worcester Center for Crafts will be CLOSED today, Tuesday, March 14 to keep our students safe and warm. There will also be NO Open Studio.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

PRESS RELEASE: Hand-made Plates to Go Offered at Craft Center Pasta Dinner, March 18, 2017

Benefit for the Worcester Center for Crafts

Worcester, MA - HAND OVER THE PLATES! The Worcester Center for Crafts announces its Pasta Dinner, on Saturday, March 18, 2017. The event was so successful a year ago, that it has been expanded.
A selection of plates

The premise of the Pasta Dinner is simple: come for good food and good company and go home with a hand-crafted ceramic plate. Pre-paid reservations are a must as last year's tickets sold out. There are two seatings-one at 6:15pm and one at 7:15 pm. Ciao Bella is catering the pasta, sauce, meatballs and salad. Vegetarian and gluten-free options will be available. 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 www.tinyurl.com/WCCPASTA17 or by calling 508-753-8183, x 301, Tues-Fri, 10-5. 

This year, a special VIP ticket is available at $65 per person/plate. The VIP ticket 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.

Committee members working on the 2017 event include Birgit Straehle, Luis Fraire, Tina Zlody, Tracy Dill, Frank Karthieser, Phil Magnusson, Candace Casey, and Tom O'Malley.

Diners can expect the unexpected after dinner, including handmade desserts and demonstrations in the Ceramics Studio showing how the evening's plates were made. A silent auction of fine art craft and delectable will also be held and will include photographs by Donna Dufault and Scott Erb, a bread board momento of Widoff's Bakery, gift cards, and a few surprises!

Tom O'Malley, head of the Ceramics Program throwing a plate.

Plate-making team with the beginnings of pasta plates (L to R) Sarah Hudson, Jessikah Armstrong, Jill Watts, Judy Goodstein, Joyce Shapiro, Tom O'Malley (kneeling), Lindsey Parker, Meryl Marcus, Josh Primmer.


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. 


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, youth education and outreach programs, exhibitions showcasing the work of established and emerging artists, artist residencies, lectures, family events, studio rentals, Gallery Store, and major events. The WCC is a member of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and its WOO Pass program, and receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.