The purpose of Christian Ridge Pottery will be to transform the Celebration Barn basement and back yard into a production center of pottery, tiles, and murals.
Pottery Center Begins Active Summer
Image: Scott Currie at work (photographer unknown)
NOTE: This article has been posted and digitally restored for educational purposes.
January at the Barn
I first came to the Celebration Barn in January, 1984. Yes, a winter workshop and I was just 22! After studying with Bob Berky and Fred Garbo at their Antic Arts Academy at SUNY Purchase the summer before, I had signed up for the next available workshop with Tony but it got postponed as Tony had landed a big part in The Clan of the Cave Bears, a big Hollywood movie that was filmed out in British Columbia. To make up for the cancellation, Tony called me one day that fall and offered something special in return: a January workshop! I eagerly accepted. Back then there was a potter in residence in the basement of the Barn. Beneath the workshop space, Scott Currie was busy making his ceramic art. Apple cookers, mugs, bowls, plates and all – the heat from the kilns radiated upwards through the wooden floors for the class to enjoy as they rolled as ooze, crescents and corpses. What a fabulous co-existence! It’s now 39 years later and I have the privilege of digitally restoring the MIME TIMES. This week I uncovered the article that announced Scott’s opening of his basement pottery back in 1977.
The First Burn
Issue #4, Page 4 / The MIME TIMES / 1977
In early June, a truck heavily laden with firebrick will arrive at the Celebration Barn; work will then resume where it left off last September on the big chamber kiln that looks out over the western view of the White Mountains.
Scott Currie, formerly a principal participant in the activities at Cornwall Bridge Pottery and the Brookfield Craft Center in Connecticut, is the potter in charge of this major undertaking. Mr. Currie, with design assistance from his father Thomas, has conceived, engineered and built the kiln and the final stages of the ceramics center project will take shape this summer.
The purpose of Christian Ridge Pottery will be to transform the Celebration Barn basement and back yard into a production center of pottery, tiles, and murals. The concept of the facility, according to Currie, is the production of functional wares of durable and pleasing form made from locally and regionally occurring clays, minerals, and glaze bases. This is being done in an effort to be more energy efficient as well as keep the price of quality hand-made pots within the means of the average person who can use and appreciate good craft.
By June’s end, the wood fired kiln will be completed, its four serpentine arches adding a new dimension of beauty and mystique to the Celebration environment. Then, inside work will commence with the roughing out of a working ceramics studio: potters’ wheels, work tables, and machinery will be constructed and set into place with the neighborly and able assistance of Joe Ellingwood.
With the arrival of August, all bumps, scrapes, and hammerings of building will cease, giving way to the whir of the wheel as pots are made to fill the first firing. The “First Burn” of the new kiln is slated for early September and will involve earthenware and saguaros fired with Maine’s most plentiful resource: wood. It promises to be an exciting occasion.
Scott Currie is inviting three apprentices to work with him this summer to build and pot. At press time there was still one position available. If you are interested, please contact the CMT office for details. We regret to announce that a pottery workshop won’t be scheduled here until next summer due to the high level of activity in ’77. But you can look forward to a future announcement of dates for the ceramics workshop planned for the summer of ’78.
Mr. Currie has also stated he is currently searching for enthusiastic co-workers who might be attracted to the ceramics project here at Celebration – persons talented in wiring, hammering or financing, to lend a hand in the very strenuous work effort that will begin in June. Come by for a visit and get involved!