Ceramists create murals for park center

NEIGHBORS

July 26, 1999|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

DEEP CREEK LAKE State Park has been a favorite vacation spot for Carroll County residents for many years.

In late June, state officials opened a $1.3 million Discovery Center that features lifelike exhibits of Maryland wildlife as well as the talents of several local ceramists.

Employees of Gooseneck Designs, the Westminster-based business that specializes in ceramic tile murals for specific sites and sculpted panels, created 11 ceramic signs for the Discovery Center.

Each sign depicts native plants and wildlife as well as quotations about the value of natural and historic resources.

More than 1,500 pounds of clay and three months of labor went into the project.

"Each sign was sculpted as one piece from a 1-inch-thick clay slab and then cut into 2-feet-by-2-feet pieces for the kiln," said Jackie Smith, lead ceramist and founder of Gooseneck Designs. "Each panel was then reassembled on site and attached to the walls at the Discovery Center with lag bolts."

One sign weighed 125 pounds; the others, which measured anywhere from 2 feet by 3 foot to 4 feet by 6 feet, were as heavy or heavier.

"The biggest thrill for me was creating something that will be there for a long time and seen by a lot of people," said Sarah Hurdel, one of four Gooseneck Designs ceramists who worked on the Deep Creek project.

"To do something of this size was rewarding and scary," said ceramist Cheryl Smith of Marston. "Now I can look at specific sections, like the big oak leaf, and know that I did it."

Joining Smith, Hurdel and owner Jackie Smith on the project was Jackie's husband, sculptor Chris Smith.

Gooseneck Designs received the commission for the Deep Creek project from the architectural firm Butler, Whitmore and Associates of Baltimore. Members of the firm had seen a wildlife mural and room design that earned Gooseneck Designs the 1997 Kitchen of the Year award from the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

Next time you travel to Deep Creek, take a tour of the Discovery Center. Perhaps whisper to other visitors, "Someone from my hometown made all these signs."

Information: 410-848-5663.

Red Cross golf classic

The American Red Cross in Carroll County is sponsoring its first golf classic this fall, and the call for participants is out.

The $100 fee includes a golf workshop, a range ball for practice driving, lunch, use of a golf cart, a favor bag and 18 holes of golf at the Links at Challedon in Mount Airy.

The fee also includes dinner with state Treasurer Richard N. Dixon.

All golfers will have an opportunity to compete for the hole-in-one prize -- a 1999 Toyota Camry donated by Koons of Westminster -- and cash prizes.

The registration deadline is Aug. 15 for the Sept. 15 tournament. Information: 410-848-4334.

Lisa Breslin's Central neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 7/26/99

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