Royal Oak Clay, Glass & Metal Show: 5 Reasons to Go
Put some fire into your weekend and explore the many ways art involves heat at the weekend show in downtown Royal Oak. While you’re at it, indulge your children, taste buds and ears, too!
By Judy Davids
June 10th, 2011
Kick off your summer fun in downtown Royal Oak this weekend at the 17th annual Clay, Glass & Metal Show on Saturday and Sunday. More than 140 artists will show their jewelry, gifts, decorative art, pottery and architectural pieces in this year’s show, which runs down Washington Avenue from Fourth Street to Lincoln Avenue.
The weekend festival has evolved over the years and is now united by a central concept, according to Shelly Kemp, executive director of the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce, which puts on the event. “All the art featured at the show is manipulated by heat and comes from the earth,” she said. “Fire and heat make this event unique among art shows as all the art on display is created through this one earth element.”
New this year is a glass blowing display, which will be located at Fourth and Washington.
The two-day art fair offers plenty to see, eat, drink and hear. Here are five reasons why you’ve got to go:
Reason 1: The Art (Duh!)
Of course, the main reason to attend the Clay, Glass & Metal Show is to see all the great works of art. Between the College for Creative Studies, Pewabic Pottery of Detroit and the Royal Oak campus of Oakland Community College, this area is a hot (pun intended) for pottery, which is made by forming clay into an object and then heating it with high temperatures in a kiln.
Laurie Eisenhardt is a Royal Oak artist who will be exhibiting clay pieces in the show. Thematically, her work is about people and nature – everyday things.
“It’s almost flukey how many educational facilities we have in the area that deal with clay,” Eisenhardt said.
However the event isn’t just about locals. It’s a juried show that brings a mix of artists from across the country. It’s expanded over the years to include glass and metal; the theme being art that involves heat.
“The work is of high quality,” Eisenhardt said, “and there is so much variety. You’ll see lots of different approaches to art, both aesthetically and technically.”
There is something for everyone. “You can buy a coffee mug for $15 or a gallery-level work of art for $1,000,” she said.
Reason 2: Be a Part of the Community
Eisenhardt calls the art fair a “social show.” She lives close to downtown and says “Every year I see so many people I know.”
So go and enjoy the weekend with your neighbors.
Another way you can participate in the show is to be a part of the Community Mosaic Project. Artists exhibiting in the show bring scrap materials, which are then assembled by fair attendees into art panels. You can see the panels that were created last year in the children’s section of the Royal Oak Public Library .
The panels the community made in 2010 are marvelous, Library Director Mary Karshner said. “They look different throughout the day based on how the light is coming in through the windows,” she said.
The panels are dynamic. “Kids will look at them and pick out something different every time they look. One time they’ll notice an animal, next time a face or words.”
Stop by the Mosaic Tent at Sixth and Washington to help create the next stage of panels. Being involved in the Community Mosaic Project is a great activity for families. You can take your children to the library years from now and they will see the mosaics and take pride in saying “I helped make that.”
Reason 3: Fun for Kids
It doesn’t seem logical that an event that has fragile words like “clay” and “glass” in it would be appropriate for children, but there are lots of fun things for budding young artists to see and explore.
Royal Oak’s Creative Arts Studio will be hosting a kids tent with loads of fun offerings. Paint an animal figurine or a piggy bank with acrylics for $9-$15, depending on the piece. Children can make mosaic frames, guitars, peace plaques and animals for $20.
You can “squirt a shirt” with a paint gun for just $10, including the shirt. Something new to try is “wax hands,”which is creating a color wax replica of hands or feet (for babies) using a state-of-the-art wax machine. Wax hands cost $7.
Creative Arts Studios’ Charlotte Wunderlich warns that heat is involved with making wax hands. “It may make very young children a bit uncomfortable,” but it is not dangerous.
Note: When walking through the fair with young children teach them how to “touch with your eyes.” Remember, this is a transient exhibit and shelves may be flimsy.
Reason 4: Lots of Food and Drink
The Clay, Glass & Metal Show is also fun for big kids, sometimes called adults, for whom Washington Avenue restaurants will be providing food and beverages.
Liz Morton, one of the owners of Lily’s Seafood on Washington near Fourth, said her restaurant is preparing for the weekend crowds. “We always get lots of extra foot traffic for this weekend event,” she said.
Adults might enjoy being a mixologist at Lily’s self-serve Bloody Mary Bar where Lily’s staff will serve up the vodka and the rest is up to you. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. it will have olives stuffed with bleu cheese, smoked salmon, anchovies and pimento plus pickles, celery, horse radishes, homemade hot sauces, Clamato juice and more – everything you need for a do-it-yourself cocktail for just $3.
Happy Hour is 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday with specials on draft beers, well drinks and house wines. For kids, there is house brewed root beer.
Lily’s will also have food specials including a blackened fresh “catch of the day” fish served on a cold summer fruit salad.
Reason 5: Rock ‘n’ Roll (the other kind of metal show)
Event attendees can recharge and rock out on Seventh Street as the Detroit School of Rock & Pop spotlights local performers on the Detroit Zoo’s showmobile throughout the day.
Music runs the same hours as the event this year.
11:00:00 Stroller Goat
12:30:00 Royal Oak High School Music Department
1:00:00 Rise of the Zebra
2:00:00 Happy Hour
2:30:00 Eight Mile Curve
3:00:00 The Exploding Dorkheads
3:30:00 Happy Hour
4:00:00 Because We Rock
4:30:00 2 A.M.
5:00:00 Define Loud
6:00:00 Break – Changeover
6:30:00 Illy Mack
11:00:00 David Mervak
12:15:00 Kaitlyn Cowan
1:00:00 Waterworks Theater Group
2:00:00 Define Loud
3:00:00 Happy Hour
3:30:00 Blues Circle
If you go:
What: Royal Oak Clay, Glass & Metal Show
When: Saturday and Sunday
Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sunday
Where: Washington Avenue from Fourth Street to Lincoln Avenue
More information: www.royaloakchamber.com