|
|
|
Morning Sun
  • Hippyclay artist works with Mosaic kids

  • Pottery artist Alan Kirby has been sharing his work for years, through numerous local exhibits and sales via his Hippyclay web site.



    Now he’s also sharing the joy of creating in clay with others. Last summer he had a workshop with members of the Pittsburg Entertainment and Artist Cooperative  Endeavor (P.E.A.C.E.) On Wednesday he did a session with the Mosiac Youth Group.

    • email print
  • Pottery artist Alan Kirby has been sharing his work for years, through numerous local exhibits and sales via his Hippyclay web site.
    Now he’s also sharing the joy of creating in clay with others. Last summer he had a workshop with members of the Pittsburg Entertainment and Artist Cooperative  Endeavor (P.E.A.C.E.) On Wednesday he did a session with the Mosiac Youth Group.
    Mosiac is a Lutheran organization based in Nebraska that helps people with intellectual disabilities function in their communities.
    “We have 15 kids in case management, and some people at Mosiac decided to put together a youth group for persons under 18,” said Stephanie Webb, Mosiac community relations manager. “Children of  Mosiac staff members and those in case management hang out together, get to know each other and form bonds. This is offered at no cost to the kids.”
    Webb said that the  youth group, which is just finishing up its first year, had had a wide variety of activities.
    “We had a CherryBerry night and a movie night in December where we saw ‘Polar Express’,” she said. “Lee Enterprises gave us our T-shirts. We’ve had a ton of community support for this.”  
    Webb and Kirby thought that a clay session might be fun for the youngsters, and set the event up in the garage of Merri Teresa Accad, where Kirby currently has his kilns.
    “Clay is refined mud,” Kirby told the kids. “ A lot of the clay I use comes from the Missouri Ozarks. I do a lot of forming clay on the potter’s wheel, and it must dry after it’s formed. Dried clay is very fragile because it’s just dried mud.”
    He explained that it is the firing  process, in a special oven called a kiln, that hardens the clay. Kirby often uses a special process known as raku firing in which the formed pieces are heated in a kiln fired by propane.
    “The raku pieces are pulled out while they’re still hot and put in a can of shredded newspaper, sawdust, even dried leaves or pine needles,” Kirby said. “No two raku pieces are the same.”
    For safety reasons, he did not do any firing during this session. Instead he brought some beads he had formed and a selection of paints so the youngsters could decorate their beads as they wished.
    “After the paint is dry, I’ll spray the beads with lacquer and string them,” Kirby said.
    Aaliyah Hatfield, 8, granddaughter of Mosiac case manager Christina Hatfield, said that she enjoyed painting the beads and likes art generally.
    “Me and my dad have the same birthday and we’re both artists,” she said.
    Kirby had a good time, too.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Stephanie and I put this together , and I’m definitely excited to do more,” he said. “I also have a guest lecture coming up this spring at Pittsburg High School.”
    He’s knows personally the importance of art instruction in schools.
    “I started doing clay in high school and liked it,” Kirby said. “Then, when I got to Pittsburg State University, that’s when it really got its hooks into me.”
     

        calendar