Columns » Livelong Days

Or My Name Is Mud

Getting your hands dirty at ClayFest

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W hile we all know Manitou Springs is home and haven to witches, wizards, dragons and hippies, it also harbors a lesser known contingency of the population: potters.

No, not those muggles in the J.K. Rowling series, nor the type of potters that put plants in soil, nor the lovers of wacky tobaccy. We're talking about the magicians and mud junkies who can meticulously shape and sculpt a formless blob of wet clay into beautiful and functional wares.

This Saturday, potters from across the nation will gather in Manitou for the 13th annual ClayFest and Potters Games. From 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Soda Springs Park will be headquarters for what can only be described as the potting Olympics. Craftspeople of all skill levels will be competing in the areas of throwing and hand-building, with prizes awarded for fastest throwing, blindfolded throwing, tandem throwing and the largest thrown pot.

During Clayfest, aspiring potters can take throwing lessons and budding, pint-sized potters can nurture their talents in the free children's creative-play area. In addition to Saturday's festivities, events on Friday and Sunday are also part of the festivities. A raku workshop on Friday and a potter's demonstration workshop and throwing clinics on Sunday are offered to those who are interested.

Following ClayFest, from 7 to 10 p.m. in the park, is the Mud Ball, a family dance with live music.

The whole shebang -- yes, the entire day -- is free, so if your only experience with clay is that scene from the movie Ghost where Patrick and Demi are at the wheel making sweet mud, then head to Manitou on Saturday and broaden your pottery horizons.

Worm around in the mud at ClayFest on Saturday.
  • Worm around in the mud at ClayFest on Saturday.

-- Suzanne Becker

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Annual ClayFest

Sat., June 21 from 10 a.m to 4:30 p.m.

Mud Ball, 7 to 10 p.m.

Soda Springs Park, Manitou Springs

Free

Call 685-5045 or go to www.clayfest.com

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