Arts on Fire in Leadville Today
Casting Clay and Dyes in The Cloud City
By Sue Jewell, Leadville Arts Coalition
On Friday, July 12, Harperrose Studios and the Leadville Arts Coalition proudly feature long-time Leadville local, Marsha Carter as the 321 Fridays artist. Join Marsha as she demonstrates her unique stamped pottery and porcelain jewelry. The fun takes place from 4-8 p.m. at Harperrose Studios: 601 Harrison Avenue, Leadville.
Marsha’s love for clay began at CMC: Timberline Campus. During the late 1970s, Marsha took clay classes at CMC, and as her passion developed, she taught the CMC community clay classes for thirteen years. When the college closed the art studio in 2012, Marsha transformed a backyard broken-down shed into a studio. During the last six years, she has perfected her present style, utilizing glass she has collected for decades.
Marsha’s pottery is built/thrown for function: cups, trays, sugar jars, creamers. But each one is uniquely decorated with treasures that she has found while hiking around Leadville’s historic east side. Every one of her pieces is stamped with words, decorative designs, or labels that she has discovered on old glass. Marsha explained, “Most bottle collectors only want complete bottles, so when they dig, they discard the smaller pieces.” These discarded pieces become “treasured stamps” for her pottery. Often she researches the labels and discovers their rich history. The Victorian period was one of high decoration, and even ordinary products came in decorated bottles, that mimicked cut glass. Her complex porcelain pendants and earrings use melted colored glass as accents.
Carter is always looking for old treasures to add texture to her work. For example, she has taken her grandmother’s ornate buttons, and jewelry and made corked stamps. During the 321 Fridays event, Marsha will bring some samples of her glass shards and corked stamps. She plans to demo her stamping technique and talk about using an assortment of items for texture/stamping.
An active supporter of the arts in Leadville, Marsha became involved in the Leadville Arts Council, a non-profit group that eventually morphed into the present day Leadville Arts Coalition. “To support the arts, you don’t have to be an artist,” Carter reminds everyone.
Bottom line: Marsha Carter wants people to make connections with her work. She comments: “I hope my mindful, knowledgeable and creative clay work connects the user to more than just the functional use of my unique pots.”
Make your connection this Friday, July 12. Enjoy the demonstrations, conversations, light refreshments and a fun evening at Harperrose Studios.
Writer Sue Jewell is a member of the Leadville Arts Coalition, a Lake County non-profit organization that support the arts in the Leadville community. The group may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kids Art, Reading Activities Continue
In other creative news, the Kids Art Classes offered at Fire On The Mountain continues this month with the colorful art of tie-dying up next on the schedule for this week. This Tuesday and Wednesday, July 9 & 10 kids are encouraged to bring their white items to dye, as they discover the art of folding, twisting, pleating in order to cast a pattern worthy of wearing! The weekly classes are held from 10 a.m. – noon in their downtown shop located at 715 Harrison Avenue, where they can also register. Or do it online at the Fire On The Mountain website. Cost is $15 for walk-ins and $12 if you pre-register. The summer classes will continue thru mid-August and include such fun topics as “Squirt Gun Painting” and “Sun Catcher Mandalas.”
Children have also been enjoying the Lake County Public Library’s Summer Reading Program which began in mid-June and continues for 8 weeks ending on Boom Days Weekend. Each year the program is based on a theme that is established by the Collaborative Summer Library Program. This summer’s theme is A Universe of Stories, focusing on space exploration to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing. It’ll be exciting to see what they come up with for their Boom Days Parade float, especially now that Lake County now has a retired astronaut as a new neighbor!