Rising Sun Festival of Fine Arts and Crafts

Art show to include live music,
wine and more

Canfield is now fulfilling
a lifelong interest in pottery

(September 2013) – As a high school student, Bruce Canfield was intrigued by the unused wheel in his art classroom. When considering his independent senior project, he asked the teacher, “Can I learn how to throw things on the potter’s wheel?”
The teacher, who had a limited pottery background, allowed him to take on the project but mainly allowed Canfield to discover the craft on his own. He recalls that his study of pottery was something of an “initiation by fire.”

Bruce Canfield

Photos provided

Lawrenceburg, Ind., resident Bruce Canfield (above) had an interest in pottery while in high school. He dabbled in pottery then, but life got in the way. Later in life, a trip to the Smokey Mountains revived his interest and he took it up again. He will be among 35 artists at the Rising Sun art show, Sept. 14-15, on the city’s on riverfront.

Bruce Canfield Art

Canfield spent some time with pottery after he graduated, but finding his time consumed with a growing family and restoration on an old house, he soon donated all of his equipment to the school where his wife taught. However, after a trip to the Smokey Mountains, where he befriended several potters, he was encouraged to take up the craft again. He recalls that the artists all told him to take advantage of the end of year sales. “I came home and I bought a potter’s wheel and it’s been spinning ever since.”
Canfield will be among the 35 artists participating in the Rising Sun Festival of Fine Arts and Crafts. This year’s show will take place Sept. 14-15 on the riverfront of Rising Sun.
For artist Canfield, part of the allure of pottery is “the relaxation it provides.” “My love is for the actual throwing of the pottery,” he says, and in the rhythm and focus of forming the clay and drawing up the sides of a bowl he finds a welcome contrast to the demands of his professional work as a Senior Nuclear Medicine Technologist.
That sense of serenity that Canfield, 56, from the Greendale area of Lawrenceburg, seeks at his potter’s wheel comes through in his finished work. He’s been called “the quiet potter” and in speaking of what draws people to his particular style he explains, “I’ve been told that it’s just the quietness. You can pretty much put it on any table without it clashing.”


As an artist, he appreciates the chance to meet new people who will soon become familiar faces at the festivals he attends. “It’s always nice when people come back and want a new piece for their collection,” he reflects, “It’s really heartwarming for me.”
The upcoming show will feature art and music. On Saturday, the event will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with music from the Bluebirds NSA starting at 6 p.m. On Sunday, the festival will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with Jamonn Zeiler performing Americana folk music from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Andrea Grimsley, festival coordinator, says the artists will be showcasing jewelry, glass, wood and fine art. Grimsley said several wineries will be taking part in the event, including Great Crescent Brewery, Powers Winery and Fiekerts Homestead Wines.
“It’s a high quality festival that we really spend time thinking about,” she says. Grimsley is pleased that the event draws “a really nice variety” of artists allowing visitors to find the perfect treasure that fits their own style.
“Last year, we moved it to the riverfront from Main Street to take advantage of the that wonderful resource we have. The river is the backdrop”
Canfield agrees that the river offers a perfect setting for artwork. He jokes that last year he would welcome guests to his tables by gesturing to the beautiful autumn hills just beyond his open booth saying, “See this beautiful picture I’ve painted for you.”
Grimsley said she hopes visitors will still take advantage of the shops and restaurants throughout Rising Sun, noting,  “We encourage people not only to visit the festival, but downtown as well.”
Grimsley says that the organizers work hard at making the festival an event to which both shoppers and artists look forward to returning.
“We really try to take very good care of our artists.” She says the hospitality center and booth sitting services are nice perks that help make the show one that the artists themselves can enjoy.
While Canfield is mostly self-taught as an artist, he is eager to share his knowledge so that students are not faced with the same “trial and error” road that he traveled. He explains that it is “really rewarding to see somebody else who is willing to learn” and that it is exciting to see his students take his lessons and then move on in their own direction. He finds that having students has led him to explore new ways of working “to make it simple for the new potter so as not to scare them away.”
Canfield said he hopes that his students will find the craft as rewarding as he does. “Clay is just so wonderful,” he said. “It does everything you want it to do. You are only limited by your mind’s eye.”

• For more information the Rising Sun Festival of Fine Arts and Crafts, visit: www.artsinrisingsun.com.

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