Macon Arts Alliance’s 11th Annual Fired Works festival stokes interest in pottery

For the past 11 years, the annual Fired Works festival in Macon, Ga. has attracted folks from around Middle Georgia, as well as the Southeast and beyond. It was created as a regional ceramic exhibition and sale to raise money for the Macon Arts Alliance and has since become its main fundraiser.

For the festival, the Macon Arts Alliance partners with Ocmulgee National Monument, which is celebrating its centennial this year and has encouraged more artists and spectators to participate in this spectacular pottery affair. Macon has a deep history of pottery-making along the Ocmulgee River. The Ocmulgee National Monument helps highlight how the area’s original Native inhabitants mastered such ceramic skills approximately 15,000 years ago.

On April 15 from 6-9 p.m., the Preview Party in Central City Park will serve as a kick-off to nine days of Fired Works happenings. Attendees can expect food, live music and the opportunity to purchase ceramic artwork before the official opening day of the exhibition and sale–in other words, first pick! This year, 65 artists will display more than 6,000 pieces of their earthenware.

The exposition will take place from April 16-24 under the roof of the Round Building, also in Central City Park. “During the nine-day run, we’ll be open daily as so attendees can explore and purchase works,” says Lauren M. Kritsas, the Macon Arts Alliance’s director of communications.

Though the clay workshops for children are full, Kritsas adds that there will also be sessions called “Corks and Clay, and a brand new Wheel Turning Class for the experienced ceramicists.” Both workshops include drinks and materials; click here to register for either of these sessions.

A “fired work” by Bill Clark.

Once upon a time, there was a potter by the name of George Ohr from Biloxi, Miss. who coined himself as the “Mad Potter of Biloxi.” He was well known for ornamenting his clay work with all type of frills and folds. Most of all, he was very confident in his creativity because he dared any potters who thought they could recreate his work to step up to the plate.

In 2003, Bill Clark of Clark House Pottery and his wife, Pam, were introduced to and amazed by Ohr’s pottery at a festival in North Carolina. Nearly a century after Ohr’s challenge, Bill Clark stepped up to learn and master the intricate folds and ruffles demonstrated in Ohr’s ceramic articles. Clark fulfilled Ohr’s challenge, and he will present this year’s Artist Talk at Central City Park on April 17 from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

While Clark is the featured artist, there will be plenty of other talent at Fired Works. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind gathering of ceramics and pottery.