Raku Fire at the Worcester Center for Arts and CraftsRaku Fire

The fiery processes of craft will be on display at the Worcester Center for Crafts’ free block-party style event, HOT NIGHT IN THE CITY on Friday, July 21 from 6-9pm. Many of the demonstrations and events will take place outside to accommodate visitors, and for dramatic effect!

During the July 21 Hot Night, the Craft Center can guarantee that where there is smoke, there will be fire since fire and heat are essential elements to working with glass, clay and metal—three of the materials that will be demonstrated at Hot Night.

Dusk’s darkness will give way to the warm glow of artists’ illuminating demonstrations of the ancient arts of glassblowing, raku firing, flame working, and blacksmithing. In addition, the Center will offer Wheel Throwing Under the Stars, music, food, art and drink.

Wheel Throwing Under the Stars will feature short introductory hands-on experiences with centering clay, and members of the public will be able to try their hands at throwing pots. A portable glass furnace will be set up in the parking lot to demonstrate the glassblowing that goes on daily at the Worcester Center for Crafts’ New Street Glass Studio. Blacksmiths will forge metals, and the Raku artist Ginny Gillen and her class will do a pottery raku firing. The raku artists are keeping secret what exactly will be coming out of the raku fire on Hot Night—so be there to uncover the mystery!

Jubilee Gardens, a popular band from the area who play an all original, eclectic mix of music with hints of world, pop, folk, and rock will provide the music for dancing, eating, and celebrating craft and the Worcester Center for Craft in the community.

“Hot Night gives us the opportunity to literally turn ourselves inside out in order to tell the community THANK YOU for being partners with us,” said Honee Hess, executive director of the Crafts Center. “We have these ‘hot’ activities going on every day, but on HOT NIGHT we bring them out into the open for all to see and enjoy.” Activities at HOT NIGHT are free to the public, although donations are accepted.

The public is invited inside the Craft Center building to participate in several maker activities in the studios, including a collaborative ceramic hand-building experience and an opportunity to preview fall’s class line-up. HOT NIGHT IN THE CITY occurs rain or shine. Also opening that night in the Center’s renowned Krikorian Gallery is an exhibit spark, curated by local painter Michelle May.

Fueling the crowd will be the award-winning bbq purveyor, B.T.’s Smokehouse of Sturbridge and pizza maker extraordinaire, Anzio’s Brick Oven Pizza: both culinary masters bring their wood-fired equipment on the Craft Center’s premises to produce fresh BBQ and wood-fired pizza!

For dessert, Worcester State University alum, Renee King who is relocating her business to the Canal District in Worcester, brings the Queen’s Cups’ award-winning cupcakes to the event. New this year, Fretzels will round out the sweetness of evening with their real frozen yogurt, pretzels and more. To top things off for the over-21 crowd, Austin Liquors has arranged a tasting of Worcester’s newest brewery product, Flying Dreams Brewery beer. Food prices are set by vendors.

Spärk, an exhibit opening on Hot Night and running through September 16 will feature the work of four women artists: Jessica Lyn Burhans, Tara Sellios, Keri Anderson and Michelle May. The title of the exhibit speaks to the art on view as a fiery particle thrown off from a fire or emitting sparks of fire or electricity. Provocative? Edgy? “The show is perfect for HOT NIGHT,” says Gallery Director Candace Casey, “as it speaks to the energy of the work being shown, and the spark of creativity that it inspires!”

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