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90% success rate - beautiful result

The Folk Festival firing was a success by any measure. The kiln reached cone 11 in all areas, front, back, high and low within the ware chamber.  90% of the wares fired perfectly.  Congratulations to John and Yary for this impressive achievement.



Thanks Nary for the photos!

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Posted: Friday, August 04, 2017 7:21 PM by rackm | 0 Comments
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Lowell Folk Festival - kiln fire, exhibit + demo, V.O.A interview

Yary & John Kondra fired up the kiln for the Lowell Folk Festival visitors. They started at 5 a.m. with the goal of making this a slow fire extending to 12 or 14 hours, but there was a soft breeze and a supply of long burning dry wood, the kiln steadily climbed to 2,300 degrees by 3:30 p.m. John managed the firing for much of the time while Yary demonstrated his throwing and carving techniques for appreciative crowds.




Voice of America reporter interviews Yary, while John stokes the fire box.


Nancy Selvage, retired director of Harvard Ceramics, dropped by with her family. 


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Posted: Monday, July 31, 2017 10:08 AM by rackm | 0 Comments
Distinguished Visitor from the Smithsonian

Louise Cort, Curator of ceramics at the Smithsonian Institution's Freer/Sackler Gallery in Washington D.C., paid a visit to Yary and the Cambodian "smokeless" kiln on a cold day in late January. She was accompanied by Danny Eijsermans, a Freer/Sackler Curatorial Fellow and Ph.D. candidate whose area of study is Southeast Asian art history.

We are delighted to learn that Professor Yary will again be honored in Washington during the July 2017 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which will celebrate 50 years of NEA National Heritage Fellows. Yary is a 2015 recipient of this award, the highest in the nation. During July 4 - 9, on the National Mall, Yary will demonstrate the art of Khmer ceramics.

Yary and I first met Louise in Providence Rhode Island at the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts 2015 annual conference. Louise came to our panel presentation "Continuing & Contemporizing Cambodian Ceramics - A Community Effort".

 Louise's visit to Lowell was facilitated by Maggie Holtzberg who runs the Folk Arts & Heritage program at the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Maggie was a fellow panelist at NCECA.  Read more about Louise's visit to Yary's studio, and plans for an upcoming show of Cambodian ceramics at the Smithsonian, at Maggie's blog Keepers of Tradition.

Margaret Rack is Professor of Art at Middlesex Community College

Photo by Maggie Holtzberg



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Posted: Friday, February 10, 2017 11:49 AM by rackm | 0 Comments
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