Vail Valley Art Guild hosts send off exhibit for longtime local ceramicist Ann Loper | VailDaily.com

Vail Valley Art Guild hosts send off exhibit for longtime local ceramicist Ann Loper

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Ann Loper's wide variety of work will be on display at the Vail Valley Art Guild's Eagle gallery space.
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If you go ...

What: Vail Valley Art Guild Second Friday Exhibit and Reception

Where: 108 West Second Street, Eagle

When: Friday, Jan. 10, 5 – 8 p.m.,

Cost: Free to attend

More information: Visit vailvalleyartguild.org.

The second Friday Vail Valley Art Guild show at the organization’s Eagle gallery space will feature work from Ann Loper. A longtime Vail Valley resident, the ceramicist is moving to Denver. Her huge collection of pottery will be on display at the gallery. There will be a reception from 5-8 p.m. Friday.

Loper has a background in functional pottery, but her current work values the beauty in common objects. Loper’s non-functional art continues to employ classic design shapes and forms. The exhibit will feature many of her horsehair and raku pots.

Raku is an ancient technique dating back to the 16th century, when Japanese potters made tea bowls for the emperors. Very few of these old pieces survived, as it was the practice of the emperor to break and throw away the bowl after drinking his tea so no other lips would touch it.

The firing process is an essential part of the raku technique. After the glazed pot in the kiln has reached the appropriate temperature (1,700-1,750 degrees Fahrenheit), it is quickly removed with tongs and placed in a covered metal container filled with sawdust or other combustible material. This cuts off oxygen flow and produces carbon and a chemical change in the glaze, plus a lot of flame and smoke. The sudden heat change doesn’t break the pot because the clay body is very porous and heavily grogged with sand. Due to this porosity, the raku glazes are not considered waterproof.

Loper, a native of Boise, Idaho, moved to Boulder to attend the University of Colorado. She has won many awards in juried group shows and has attended workshops at Anderson Ranch in Snowmass, Boise State and Laloba Ranch in Steamboat Springs. Loper was also a ski instructor in Vail for over 40 years.