Throwin' the clay around


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May 26, 2016 12:00 AM

Tara Challman will be taking part in the Quickdraw event for her second time, this year making pottery on the wheel to auction off for art bursaries. The Quickdraw will be taking place in the Lakeland College cafeteria on June 13 as part of the Arts Without Borders festival.

This ain’t Tara Challman’s first Quickdraw, but this year she’ll be changing it up a bit.
Instead of making clay jewelry with her 90-minute window of time, Challman will be throwing pottery right on the wheel, though she’s not entirely sure of her game plan yet.
“I think it will be whatever I can make in the 90 minutes,” said the artist, who participated in the event two years ago.
“I haven’t quite decided what I’m going to build, but it’ll probably be a few small pieces.”
The Quickdraw event, held at Lakeland College on June 13 as part of the Arts Without Borders festival, gives artists of different mediums 90 minutes to create something original, which is then auctioned off for money that goes toward art bursaries.
It’s all done in front of audience members too, so the pressure comes in a few different forms.
Challman said of her first time at the event, “That was definitely new to me, the whole building things on the fly in front of people—it was kind of nerve wracking—but I thought it was great, the crowd seemed really nice and a lot of people came out.”
That time around she made a clay pendant and a necklace out of beads, then made a matching bracelet to go with it, all of which brought in a combined $200 to go toward the bursaries.
As of last week, Challman still didn’t have a set plan in place for this year’s Quickdraw, calling herself “a mean procrastinator.”
She hoped to come up with one over the weekend, with intentions to practise it out to make sure she can execute it in the allotted 90 minutes, and also take some time to do other things like mix glazes in preparation.
“I get really nervous when people are watching and I’m hoping that I can just do it,” she said.
Challman has experience enough though, taking her first pottery class close to 15 years ago and working at it on and off ever since.
She said she loves clay and the art of being able to take it from its raw state—just a block of nothing—and putting it on the wheel to create whatever’s in her mind.
“You’re basically making something out of nothing and I find that amazing every time,” she said.
“You can decide what you want to make, or you can just kind of let it happen and hope for the best, but I love the feel of the clay, I love the smell of the clay; I find I can relax around it, so it’s different than other mediums.”

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