UPDATE: 'Hot from the kiln !'

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:22

    PA artist, Tom Neugebauer, marks 36th year at Peters Valley Craft Fair AUGUSTA — Milford, PA sculptor and potter Tom Neugebauer will be showing and demonstrating his art at this year’s Peters Valley Craft Fair on Sept. 24 and 25 at the Sussex County Fairgrounds (located just off Route 206 in Augusta.) As many in the tri-state area know, Tom has been a steady feature of this well-known juried fine craft show for 36 years. He likes to joke that he’s “part of the entertainment” because many of his unique “Raku” pottery vessels are kiln-fired “on-site” during the show . Milford area residents know Neugebauer’s work from the annual Pike County Art Show held at the Milford Borough Building each summer. But what 's special at the Peters Valley show, he says, is that “...visitors can actually see how these unusual glaze effects are created in a dramatic Japanese firing process called “Raku”. Every hour on the hour - or thereabouts - I pull pieces out of the small kiln I set up right there at the show. Those glowing pots - about 1800 degrees F - are put inside metal containers filled with straw and sawdust ; then the steaming pot is quenched in water. It’s dramatic and fun to watch , and the unusual process is responsible for the unique metallic lusters ,crackles and color variations on the glazes ...something special and spontaneous on each piece.” Neugebauer’s demonstrations have become a popular tradition at the show, and many visitors crowd around to watch the “event” as well as to purchase a work of art “hot out of the kiln”. Before moving to Milford, in 1983, Tom was the Ceramics Artist in Residence at Peters Valley for seven years. Peters Valley is a nationally known Craft Education Center located in Layton, within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. He explains that the Craft Fair was an important source of revenue for the organization. “Peters Valley is a valuable cultural resource both for this area and nationally. I know how important it is that the Craft Fair be successful, and I hope that in my small way I can help to make it enjoyable and appealing for people to visit.” A recognized “master teacher”, Neugebauer has been a ceramics instructor at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (Summit, NJ) since 1981 and has taught Ceramics at the County College of Morris (Dover, NJ). Over 180 juried artists from all over the country will participate in this year’s show. In addition to wonderful sights for the eyes, musicians and food vendors help to create a complete and enjoyable early Fall day trip. At the Sussex County Fairgrounds, there is always plenty of convenient parking. With the exception of Tom’s outdoor Raku extravaganza, all of the exhibitors are in the buildings…so, rain or shine, come and enjoy. For more information, call Peters Valley at 973-948-5200 or go to www.petersvalley.org .