On July 14, Watershed welcomed nearly 600 visitors to Salad Days, a celebration of local food and handcrafted ceramics. This annual art- and craft-filled festival features a picnic buffet of fresh salads that guests enjoy on handmade ceramic plates that they keep.
2018 Salad Days Artist Christina Bendo lived and worked at Watershed during the summer of 2017, creating more than 500 plates for the event. The plates were made of clay dug from Maine riverbeds and processed in Watershed’s studio. Bendo decorated the surfaces with images of flowers and foliage she found on campus and in nearby environs. “I seek to evoke a connection to place by using site specific materials and motifs in my work,” explains Bendo. “I was excited to work with Watershed clay because it carries the history of the region and community.”
In addition to enjoying a delicious lunch and a new handcrafted plate, visitors watched pottery demonstrations by master ceramic artists, toured Watershed’s grounds and studios, listened to live music, and won unique ceramic pieces in the art raffle.
The Invitational Pottery Sale featured work by more than 20 artists from around the U.S., including members of Kansas City Urban Potters, who were in-residence at Watershed during the summer session that coincided with Salad Days. A number of Maine artists also sold work in the pottery tent and in the popular beer stein tent.
Pots on Wheels! ( a.k.a. POW!), a mobile clay education project that brings pottery lessons to communities around New England, offered visitors a chance to try their hand at creating with clay. After making a piece, guests chose finished works from the POW! project gallery to keep, and left their work to be fired and claimed by future POW! visitors. Other arts nonprofits sharing information about their organizations at Salad Days included the Maine Craft Association, the Society of Arts and Crafts, and Studio Potter magazine.
Funds raised during the celebration support Watershed’s community education and residency programs. We are grateful for the support of our Salad Days Sponsors —including Ames True Value Hardware, First Advisors, J. Edward Knight Insurance, Jeffrey Spahn Gallery, Laguna Clay Company, Renys, and H. Chester Wright, Inc —along with the many visitors who celebrated with us this year.