Fire By The Mountain

Trip Start Mar 07, 1997
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Trip End Dec 25, 1998


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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Friday, June 6, 1997

Go with me? We're going to get fired up this weekend at Vaughan Greene's hot new spot at the foot of Lookout Mountain. Actually, the place has been there for eight years, as the Clay Shop and Outlook Gallery.

But Saturday it officially becomes St Elmo's Fire, a clever combination of address and function. Yes, fire artists will be there - blowing glass, forging iron, and gingerly lifting hot pots from the kiln with arms-length tongs.

Are you familiar with Raku? "Raku pottery gets its blackened finish and subtle coloring because it carbonizes when we put it into something that burns," explains Vaughan. "When it starts glowing we remove it from the kiln and set it in sawdust, which creates a blaze. Then we immerse it in water."

The kiln will be in the bricked courtyard out back for Saturday's demonstration, a barrel of sawdust and a bucket of water lined up beside. The firey show is staged against a backdrop of full-blooming hydrangea and magnolia with Lookout Mountain as the back yard.

Inside the shop Shawn and Steven Matthews, who live on the mountain, will be blowing glass beads. Watch this fascinating art form in progress, and wander among shelves packed with pottery, sculpture, photographs, jewelry, kaleidoscopes, birdhouses, toys, and decorative iron, blacksmith style.

The blacksmith will be out front Saturday, his forge set up on the sidewalks of St Elmo. When he's not making pretty pieces of art, Tom Kennedy stays busy shoeing horses in Chickamauga, Georgia.

"Regional and original" is the theme in this intriguing shop that showcases more than 100 artists from just up the street, or just down the road. There is even a variety of spicy Southern foods, such as Scorned Woman Hot Sauce (in its own black velvet bag) and Chattanooga-made barbecue sauce from Lucious The King.

And don't forget this is a working potters studio. Come back any day to watch Vaughan mixing glazes, throwing pots and keeping the fire burning in the kiln by the mountain. See you there.

St Elmo's Fire, St Elmo Avenue, Chattanooga
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