Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Festival benefits Northport pottery studio

If you’re missing Mardi Gras this year, you can get your fill of gumbo in downtown Northport this Saturday afternoon at GumboFest.

Benefiting the new Kentuck Clay Co-Op, the event will be held from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m. at the Kentuck Art Center on Main Avenue in historic Northport.

The co-op will be a pottery studio, housed on the Kentuck campus, for hobbyists of all skill levels.

“It’s a public clay studio for people who want to take up or already do clay as a hobby,” said Kerry Kennedy, potter-in-residence with Kentuck.

“We will offer classes, but it’s an open studio space that you will qualify to become a member of by your amount of clay experience,” she said.

The event Saturday will serve as the grand opening for the clay co-op. For a $25 donation, patrons will receive a handmade mug with gumbo from Wintzell’s Oyster House, or gumbo in a disposable bowl for $10. Wintzell’s will also provide bread pudding for dessert.

“There are a lot of expenses in opening a pottery studio, so this will pay for the clay and minerals for the glazes,” Kennedy said.

Kentuck will provide free take-home children’s crafts such as miniature Mardi Gras floats, Carnivale masks and handmade clay bowls.

Members of the co-op will pay a monthly fee to use the studio space and equipment and to partake in group kiln firings.

“We’d love to engage the community in classes and provide them access to both the pottery studio and … to see potters working and the pottery taking place,” Kennedy said.

Sophomore Danielle Holsonback said she has taken a ceramics class and would like to use to clay co-op to further her interest in pottery.

“It would be great to be able to work on pottery whenever I wanted,” she said. “I’d like to learn from local people that make their living from pottery.”

Kennedy said the program will eventually add workshops, project classes and “Clay Day” experiences where the potter will learn to make a specific object.

“We’d also like to do classes that are project-based,” she said. “[You can] make a platter, plate or other things like that probably once a week.

“We’re empowering the artist in the studio and engaging the community in classes,” Kennedy said.

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