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Clay Center hosts limited-edition ‘Settings’

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You know you’re entering a creative zone the moment you enter the Carbondale Clay Center. There is an aura of creativity that emanates from the building. 

This visitor eagerly approached, hoping to learn more about the organization’s upcoming fund-raising auction. In years past, the Clay Center’s auctions have been open-house and well-attended. Savanna LaBauve, the organization’s Director of Marketing, Development and Programs, reported that over 350 people attended last year’s auction fund-raiser. 

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This year, of course, the plan has been modified in the interest of public health, so the Carbondale Clay Center’s fund-raiser will take the form of an online auction. Everyone is invited to preview the listed items in one of two ways: The items can either be seen at or in-person at the Clay Center during business hours. The Clay Center is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Regarding the auction, Clay Center members and event sponsors will be able to bid early, in person, a few days prior to the auction. Online bidding opportunities for everyone else will be available via a direct link on the above web page. The bidding link will appear on the same web page a few minutes prior to the start of the auction, which will begin promptly at 5 p.m. on Oct. 23 .  If you are interested in owning a distinctive piece of Carbondale art, you still have ample time to make up your “wish-list.” Note that the online auction will end at exactly 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 1 

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The name of the upcoming fall fundraiser is “Settings: Limited Edition 2020.” As the name implies, table settings for two to four people will be offered, and Executive Director Angela Bruno added that the auction will also include “sets of items like cups or plates, as well as à la carte items. With a wide range of collections, there is something for everyone’s dinner table!” 

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the auction is that each clay artist has been teamed up with a partner that typically works in a medium other than ceramics. 

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Bruno pointed out that “Many of the creations will be collaborative gems made by a local potter and adorned with flair by a local painter, woodworker, or textile artist.” 

In a preview of some of the finished works, I noted the collaborations did indeed feature unique designs and extraordinary creativity. One collaboration resulted in a beautiful ceramic table setting by LaBauve on a tablecloth made of Indian silk by Agneta Wettegren. Bruno confirmed that the 14 artistic partnerships were made up from a group of 28 individuals, and that the partnerships were assigned by Carbondale Clay Center. Apparently, good things can result from good planning. The Carbondale Clay Center hopes to raise $15,000 via auction proceeds.

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Sam Harvey, a ceramic artist and owner of The Harvey Preston Gallery in Aspen, found the collaborative experience of “Settings: Limited Edition 2020” to be beneficial. Harvey spoke very highly of his collaborative partner Reina Katzenberger, who owns The Project Shop at S.A.W. (Studio for Arts and Works) in Carbondale. 

Harvey, who offered ceramic workshops at The Anderson Ranch for nine years, had only positive comments on the Settings: Limited Edition 2020 experience, saying that “It was just wonderful working with Reina in her studio, and having her come to visit my studio.” When asked if it was easy to come up with an idea that they both liked, he said “Yes, it was pretty easy and flowed nicely.” He attributed their success to both artists being comfortable with good communication. 

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So, whether you wish to simply view and appreciate the work of local artisans, or add some distinctive ceramics to your collection, Settings: Limited Edition 2020 merits your attention.