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Bethel College to host potter for Greer Fine Arts series

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. - Potter Chris Wolff from Fort Collins, Colo., will present a slide lecture at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 7 in Krehbiel Auditorium, Fine Arts Center at Bethel College in North Newton. The lecture is part of the Greer Fine Arts Visiting Artist Series. Admission is free and open to the public. Wolff will also lead a two-day workshop that will run from 1 to 4 p.m., March 6 and 7 in room 4, Franz Art Center at Bethel College. Participants may attend free of charge one or both days.

Wolff graduated from Juniata College in Huntington, Pa., with a humanities degree in pottery and photography. He received his master’s degree in visual arts from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

"To ensure unique and quality work, I perform all aspects involved in the production of my pottery," Wolff says. "I hand throw all my work in one piece and trim each piece with great detail."

He uses two different finishing processes. Most of his pieces are created through the Raku firing process. For this process, each piece is heated rapidly and pulled from the kiln at approximately 1,800 degrees. The piece is immediately placed in organic material and then covered. The result is a burst of purples, greens, oranges and blues in different patterns, created by the flaming combustible materials.

He also uses a hair decoration technique, which is similar to the Raku firing process except hair is draped over the surface of the piece. The hair burns instantly, leaving the carbon pattern of that burn as decoration. Wolff has used a variety of hair, including human, horse and buffalo.

"Within the act of both the firing and decorative processes, there is always a certain randomness and uncertainty which prevails," Wolff says. "This controlled unpredictability in the final decorative process excites me in my ceramic pursuits."

For more information about the Wolff presentations at Bethel College, contact David Long, assistant professor of art, at (316) 284-5223.

Greer Fine Arts Endowment

Amparo Goering, Wichita, and her husband, the late Robert C. Goering, established the Milford E. Greer Fine Arts Endowment Fund at Bethel College in memory of artist Milford E. Greer, Jr. Each year since 1979, the endowment has brought one or more visiting artists to the Bethel College campus.

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