The Academy Uses Pottery to Heal the Community

Raku Pottery Display at the Academy Center of the Arts. Photo taken by Ted Batt.

Margaret Rolf ~ Guest Writer

     The Academy Center of the Arts will be hosting Brett Thomas, a mobile Raku artist, for a pottery session in which attendees can create pieces in outdoor kilns. The class will take place in two sessions on April 23 and April 24.

     Thomas has been coming to the Academy since Oct. of 2016 and this will be his ninth time teaching classes. 

     “I think people are really wowed by the process because of its immediate response,” said Ted Batt, the director of Visual arts who also oversees the Pottery Studio at the Academy. “You get these really cool metallic colors that you do not get from firing okay, and it’s got a long history it actually dates back to Japanese processes.”

      Covid has taken a toll on Thomas’s Raku business due to social distancing restrictions. Batt said that Thomas lost nearly all business in 2020 and he had to take on another job. However, the demand for pottery classes has survived the pandemic shutdown.

      Sally Hubbard the marketing manager for the Academy said the attraction to pottery has been the sensation of touch, which people have been deprived of throughout the pandemic. 

     “If anything, pottery was like more of an interest…pottery has taken off and we’re actually talking about expanding the pottery studio now,” stated Hubbard

     Thomas’s Raku class will bring a sense of familiarity and excitement back to the community, be sure to attend next weekend of April 23 to experience this raw form of pottery. 

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