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Charlie Parker Pottery celebrates 10 years this weekend

Bill DeYoung



In a textbook example of “Don’t tell me, show me,” master potter Charlie Parker used a section of The Catalyst Sessions Thursday to create, from two blocks of wet clay, a beautiful vase. He did it on a wheel in real time, talking us through the process – and just like every artist who knows his craft inside, out and sideways, he made it look easy.

It’s not easy.

The occasion was this weekend’s 10th anniversary celebration at Charlie Parker Pottery, the studio and gallery he opened in 2010 after a 14-year tenure as a founder/operator of St. Petersburg Clay Company.

Parker, who began working with clay as a lad in his native Minnesota, talked about the arc of his artistic education, firing techniques, his approach to teaching and to the business of art, and Saturday’s celebration.

There’ll be live demonstrations and studio tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. “We will have a beer or two, I’m sure,” Parker said.

He lavished praise on Kayla Harbeitner, his apprentice, and explained that they will be applying horse-hair to kiln-heated works-in-progress Saturday. It’s an experimental process that so far has been bringing good results.

“I learn from her,” Parker said. “She’s a very good potter. She’s been with me for 2 ½ years. She teaches me, I teach her, because we do things together.”

Because of safety protocols, however, Charlie Parker Pottery won’t be open for the Second Saturday ArtWalk, which is returning to a live, in -person format – on  limited basis – starting at 5 p.m.

Instead, Parker plans on dropping by the 5-8 p.m. reception for 2020 Vision at Soft Water Studios. He has several pieces in exhibit at this 20-artist show.

Friday on The Catalyst Sessions: Chris Nunley and Billy Taylor from the Royal Guardsmen, the first Florida band to sell a million copies of a single record (“Snoopy vs. the Red Baron,” 1966).

Streaming weekdays at 7 p.m. on the Catalyst Facebook page. All episodes are archived on our YouTube channel.



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    Nancy Corlis

    October 9, 2020at6:23 pm

    Fabulous video. I am a handbuilder and always wanted to know more about Charlie’s work. I’d love to see his platters. Thank you for the introduction.

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