Pottery connects past to present at annual Fired Works Exhibition and Sale

April 25, 2014 

Pottery’s historic connection to Macon will be front and center at this year’s Fired Works -- a nine-day exhibition and sale featuring ceramics from across the Southeast.

The show starts Saturday and runs through May 4. The featured artist is Tammy Beane, who works with archeologists, historic sites and museums, including the Ocmulgee National Monument, to re-create historic pottery pieces.

“One of our big focuses in doing this exhibit is to let people know that pottery is a part of the history of this area for thousands of years,” said Jonathan Dye, director of communications with the Macon Arts Alliance, which hosts the show. “You take something like the Ocmulgee National Monument and that is a place, that’s an experience you can’t have anywhere else in the world and it really creates a unique sense of place for Macon.”

“The history of pottery that started with the people that developed at the Ocmulgee National Monument up to the potters who are working locally today, we look at that as a continued heritage in pottery in Macon, so we wanted to connect the past and the present.”

Beane is one of about 70 artists who will have works at this year’s show.

“This will be the most artists we’ve ever had, the most pottery we’ve ever had,” Dye said. “We’ve started counting the individual pieces ... and it’s over 6,000.”

This year’s show will take place in a former warehouse near the front of Central City Park instead of in the Round Building. The new location is in the same place the Friends of the Library held this year’s Old Book Sale.

Fired Works is an exhibition but all of the pieces on display are also for sale. Last year, there were smaller pieces that started as low as $5.

“Because there are so many artists, there is a wide variety of pottery,” Dye said. “We have artists who make more folksy artwork and we have artists who make the real sophisticated porcelain pieces. We have sculptural and functional.”

Admission to Fired Works is $5 for adults.

“That gets you into the event and basically supports the Macon Arts Alliance and its mission,” Dye said. “You are able to see the work and purchase pottery. We have special events throughout.”

Some of those special events include:

Preview Party: 6-9 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $50 and include live music, food and drinks.

“It’s really the big party that kicks things off and people can purchase pottery that night, too,” Dye said. “So, if you want to get in and make sure that you don’t miss something you really love, that is the first chance to really get in and see the work and purchase pottery.”

Children’s Workshops: 10-11 a.m. and 11 a.m.-noon Saturday and May 4. Free, but registration is required. Children up to age 12 can create their own pieces of pottery.

Teen Workshops: 2-3 p.m. Saturday and May 4. Free, but registration is required. Teens create their own pieces of pottery.

Artist Talk and Demonstration: 2-3 p.m. Sunday. Free.

Cocktails and Clay Workshops: 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $35 and include drinks and materials to make a finished piece.

First Friday at Fired Works: 5-8 p.m. May 2. Tickets are $10 and include food and drinks.

Ancient Secrets & Spirits: 7-9 p.m. May 3 at Ocmulgee National Monument. Tickets are $25 and include refreshments, a lantern tour of Ocmulgee and demonstration by Beane of how pottery was made at Ocmulgee by the Mississippian people.

“They have a fire pit at Ocmulgee so she’s actually going to be making and using the fire pit,” Dye said. “There are pieces in the collection at Ocmulgee National that she made.”

Fired Works

When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 25 and May 3; noon-4 p.m. April 26 and May 4; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. April 28-May 2

Where: Central City Park, downtown Macon

Cost: $5 adults; kids and students with identification are free; unlimited return entrances

Information: www.firedworksmacon.com

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