Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin and Roseville Today Local Events
contact add event advertise 

Touring Gladding McBean during Feats of Clay



Kiln_Beehive.jpg

(Lincoln, CA) --A month-long series of tours of the historic Gladding, McBean terra cotta factory in Lincoln offers many memorable moments, but it is the short ride on a wooden freight elevator that most thrills many tour-takers. Introduced in 1891, just 16 years after the factory opened-and 38 years after Elisha Otis invented the modern elevator-the oversized lift takes occupants slowly from the first floor to the third, the oldest part of the factory.  The volunteer operator asures riders of the safety of the equipment while everyone gasps, oohs and ahs at the wonderment of the creaky rise upward.

Claudia Renati, executive director of Lincoln Arts, says, "Most people are in awe of the elevator.  They are fascinated to learn that this is the only remaining hydraulic elevator west of the Mississippi."  As to the lift's slowness, Renati says, "The more people we put on it, the slower it is. It's large enough to load a full-sized forklift.  And it can carry up to 4,000 pounds."

Gladding, McBean opens its 136-year-old fabled grounds and beehive-shaped kilns to visitors during "Feats of Clay XXIV" starting May 4, ending on May 30. Trained docents from Lincoln Arts Foundation will lead the tours through the facility from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays with new groups departing  every 30 minutes.

Reservations are required for the $12 tours, and can be made by calling the Lincoln Arts, organizers of the event, at (916) 645-9713. Visitors must be aged eight or older.  Comfortable closed-toe shoes are a must as the 90-minute tours require much walking. Some 6,000 visitors come from near and far for the annual tours. Local restaurant business thrives during the running of the tours. In addition to viewing the ceramics pieces, visitors will see an exhibit of molds, examples of architectural work done at the plant, and large photo murals of plant activities made from original glass and film negatives.

Sightseers will see an exhibit of some 80 sculptures that have been selected from the 1,500-plus entries in an annual competition of artists from the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Winners of this year's competition will be shown in creative displays, half of them in a massive obsolete 35-foot-wide "beehive" kiln, one of 18 remaining at the facility. The competition, one of the world's most prestigious, was introduced in 1987 when the Feats of Clay celebration began.

Gladding, McBean's major manufacturing today is clay sewer pipes. But they also do special restoration projects for worn-out or damaged artifacts of terra cotta pieces that were originally created for buildings throughout the world.  In its heyday, Gladding, McBean and Co. became a leader in producing architectural facades for important buildings. Even the distinguished-looking red roof tiles at Stanford University were a Gladding, McBean product. Major creations adorn buildings, theaters and schools all over the globe.  

Lincolnites are proud of the continuing history of their plant. Mayor Paul Joiner is among them. "I've always thought of Feats of Clay as this wonderfully unique blend of history and pop culture," says he. "Just stepping into the buildings of Gladding, McBean transports you back to the 19th century. The sights, the sounds, the smells all carry back to the days when everything was done by hand. The days of the artisan. All about you are examples of the work of generations. Statues and fountains, gargoyles and cornices, columns and medallions from every corner of our nation."
Proceeds from tours benefit the Lincoln Arts and Culture Foundation, supporting local art, including a summer concert series, after-school art classes, and school arts programs.

The opening of this year's May tours was introduced with a Mardi-Gras themed, fund-raising reception for VIPs on April 30.  The gala event was held amidst some of the gigantic aging kilns, and featured music, food catered by the Car Club of Auburn, a no-host wine and beer bar, and a first look at the ceramic exhibition.

Lincoln is a few miles north of Sacramento, off California highway 65. Factory tours start at the Lincoln Arts building, 580 Sixth Street in Lincoln.  During Feats of Clay, many local artisans will have their works available for purchase in the gift shop.

Visit the Lincoln Arts website: www.Lincolnarts.org





Placer County News Headlines

Roseville Hosting Chicks with Sticks Lacrosse TournamentSwashbuckler Lacrosse is breaking new ground with their upcoming Chicks with Sticks Lacrosse Tournament on July 11-12

John Adams Academy Finalizes Purchase of Campus in RosevilleRoseville, CA - Officials from John Adams Academy (JAA) charter school in Roseville announced today they have finalized the purchase of the former Heald College building

Placer County Foster Children in Need of Mentor VolunteersChild Advocates of Placer County is currently in need of 30 new volunteers to become Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) or Mentors

50 Days of the Grateful Dead: Lady with a FanWe're like licorice. Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who like licorice really like licorice." ~ Jerry Garcia

Dots and dashes changed Zachary Barnum's lifeThis 17-year-old resident of Fredericksburg, Virginia, who is legally blind in one eye due to optic nerve hypoplasia and has a form of bipolar disorder (ATOU Cares.org)

Dry Lightning Boosts Northern California Fire RiskDrought Watch: CAL FIRE has increased staffing due to forecasted dry lightning and strong winds throughout much of northern California

California Senate Committee Kills Sex Offender Bill SB54Senator Sharon Runner (R-Antelope Valley) announced her legislation to make sex-offender residency restrictions more workable

Fireworks Safety Tips this Fourth of JulyWith the Independence Day holiday rapidly approaching, CAL FIRE is reminding all Californians and visitors to do their part to prevent fires caused by illegal fireworks

California Lowers Excise Tax Rate on GasState Board of Equalization Vice Chair George Runner announced that California's excise tax on gasoline will decrease by six cents per gallon

Placer County Water Agency UpdatesAUBURN, Calif. - Recessing from their June 25, 2015 Board meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors

Attempts to change Proposition 13 are misguidedThere's been no shortage of attempts in recent years in the State Legislature to overhaul Proposition 13-California's landmark initiative protecting homeowners and small business owners

50 Days of the Grateful Dead: Truckin' at Levi's StadiumTruckin' opens the Fare Thee Well Run in Santa Clara, CA at Levi's Stadium on June 27, 2015. Full setlist.


NEWS: In Case You Missed It