Phoenix Fired Art Unveils Three-Panel Ceramic Mural

Published 06/16 2014 06:45PM

Updated 06/16 2014 07:56PM

JOPLIN, MO.--- Over the past year, members of Phoenix Fired Art, have been creating a three-panel ceramic mural called the "Rise of the Phoenix." 

"It's the story of clay and it's the story of Phoenix Fired Art," said Heather Grills, Owner and Executive Director of Phoenix Fired Art.

After brainstorming with various artists, Phoenix Fired Art Owner Heather Grills says they decided on a piece that would take the viewer through the pottery-making process.

"From the beginning when it's dug right out of the ground, to when it's wedged and formed and then fired and glazed. In the last panel where it is displayed in the gallery, and in the final panel which represents our empty bowls," said Grills. 

40 volunteers put in over 1,000 man hours just in the sculpting and forming process alone. Professionals and those who had never even touched clay before, volunteered their talents.

"It's so different. When we started, it was just a giant slab of wet clay. And now it's got such beautiful colors and I just hope everybody comes by to look at it," said Vicki Mays, Volunteer and Donator.

Volunteers were able to put personal messages and inside jokes on the tiles outlining the panels.

"One has the treble clef, for music. One is for the Heartland Concert Band, which I direct and I have for a long time. And one was just my initials," said Mays. 

The mural has a 3D effect that can be seen on the side of the studio's building, facing 17th and Main Street. Grills says she wants people who stop to look at the mural to feel a sense of pride within the community.

"I've never seen nothing like this before. I mean, the work is from a master. That's what I say," said David Stewart, Resident.

Grills says pottery can be a therapeutic medium and can help those who are going through a hard time. 

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