The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea celebrates 10 years as Kentucky’s showcase for the arts with three days of celebration beginning Friday, July 19, with a host of activities including a demonstration of clay face jugs by Robert Brigl, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the center.

Drawn to the traditional forms of American folk pottery, Brigl makes both functional and sculptural ceramic jugs and bottles on the potter’s wheel. He sculpts these thrown forms with faces and figures by adding coils and pieces of clay to their surfaces. He often makes the eyes from white porcelain clay.

Brigl often finishes these pieces with glaze and sometimes adds semi-
precious stones or sand blasts the surfaces to make the glazes appear to be time-worn.  He also makes a line of hand-built and pinched face “Nuts” in a variety of sizes, from 2-4 inches.

Brigl, of Bowling Green, is a juried member of the Kentucky Art Council’s Kentucky Crafted Program and regularly shows his work at the co-operative studio and gallery, The Pots Place in Bowling Green, as well as at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

  Photo: Robert Brigl’s expressive clay face jugs

Born in North Dakota, Brigl grew up in the Midwest and came to Kentucky when his family moved to the state for his father to finish his doctorate. Brigl studied ceramics at Western Kentucky University, in Bowling Green, under the direction of Professor Bill Weaver.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education in 1974, Brigl apprenticed for four years with Weaver, assisting him in the building of a studio and kilns. During this apprenticeship, Brigl pursued his Master of Arts degree in public administration, receiving it in 1976. He then worked as the exhibits curator for the Kentucky Museum for 10 years. From 1986 to 2011, he taught high school art in the Warren County Public Schools and now works full time as a potter.

Pottery by Robert Brigl is regularly available at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, located at 200 Artisan Way, just off Interstate 75 at Berea, Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily, year-round, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Celebrating 10 years in 2013 with three days of events and activities July 19-21, the center currently features works by more than 650 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. Special exhibits include, “The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea: Celebrating 10 Years,” on display through Aug. 24; and “The Founding of the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea” and “Highlights of the First 10 Years,” on display in the lobby through Nov. 17, 2013.  For more information about the center’s events call 859-985-5448, visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kentucky.artisan.center, or go to the center’s website at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.



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