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July 4th in Fairbury Features Antiques, Food, Music and Art, Fairbury NebraskaJuly 4th In Fairbury Features Antiques, Food, Music and Art

July 2013 – The city of Fairbury is gearing up for the July 4th holiday. Thousands of visitors are planning to attend the 42nd annual July 4th Flea Market in the City Park, featuring hundreds of vendors offering everything from antiques, collectibles, crafts, and food. A Shriners parade through the park at 10 a.m. and a patriotic concert by the Community Band at 10:30 a.m. will delight visitors of all ages. A fireworks display is planned for 10 p.m., sponsored by the V.F.W.

See Art In Action July 4th In Downtown Fairbury

Downtown around the Fairbury’s historic square, the antique and thrift stores will also be open for business on July 4th and the public is invited to stop by Stagecoach Mall Antiques & Main Street Center where local artists will be demonstrating the ancient Japanese technique of glazing pottery, known as Raku.

Lucky Stradley is a Nebraska artist that champions the ancient Japanese pottery art of raku.  Raku is a low-temperature firing process that originated in Japan during the 16th century.  Applying a colorful, metallic glaze to a bisque-fired pot then raku firing it, creates the prized surface that raku collectors admire.  Fired to 1,700 degrees, the clay body remains porous, causing it to be unsuitable for holding fluids.  Unlike most pottery, which is a functional, utilitarian and is meant to be used, raku is produced and admired purely for its aesthetic qualities.

Once the bisque piece is glazed, it is then placed into a small preheated kiln fueled by propane gas.  When the glazed pot reaches a temperature of 1,700 to 1,900 degrees, it is removed from the kiln with metal tongs and placed into a galvanized trashcan filled with combustible material such as straw, leaves, and newspaper.  This container is called a reduction chamber.  The hot pot ignites the material.  The potter smothers the fire eliminating the oxygen to achieve a reduction atmosphere.  This a process that is dramatic, smoky and inspires awe and excitement.

The raku process causes unpredictable glaze effects and blackens the clay where it is not covered by a glaze. Unlike production pottery, which strives for uniformity, every pot raku fired is unique.
Visitors will be able to purchase a small handmade piece of pottery, then participate in the various stages of the Raku process and take home their very own masterpiece as a souvenir. Stradley will be assisted by artists Cindy Chinn, Art Whitton and others. Raku firing, weather permitting, is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 4th at the corner of 5th & E Streets, downtown. Everyone is invited to see the show and take home a one-of-a-kind piece of art.

Videos on Raku firing can also be found on Fairbury.com’s facebook page.

Watch Video

 
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