WILLIAMSTOWN -- Demonstrations by local decorative artists will highlight the upcoming "Free Family Day" at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, taking place Sunday, from 12 to 4 p.m.
Head of Education Programs Ronna Tulgen said attendees will have a real look at how silversmiths, potters, carpenters and more create their works, and learn to appreciate the attention to detail in everyday items.
"Most of the things we had once were carefully crafted, and often one of a kind, versus the present day, when so much of what we have is mass produced, factory decorated and replaceable," she said.
Education Coordinator Monica Henry said attendees will be able to interact with every demonstrator.
"They are encouraged to ask them questions, watch and hear all their stories," Henry said.
One of several local artists will be master carpenter Hugh Glover. Tulgen said Glover, of the Williamstown Art Conservation Center, conserves wood items from all over the world.
"He is a marvelous craftsperson who does beautiful woodworking and woodcarving," Tulgen said.
Henry said master silversmith Stephen P. Smithers will demonstrate historical techniques that he taught himself.
"He specializes in using technology that silversmiths have used for hundreds of years," she said.
Glass artist Atticus Robbins will demonstrate the art of lampworking, Henry said, in which an artist uses a torch to melt glass before blowing or shaping it.
"That'll be mesmerizing to look at, because it literally changes shape in front of your eyes," she said.
Also giving demonstrations will be Japanese lacquer artist Christine Puza, bookmaker Amanda Malkin and potter Tim Duncan.
Attendees are invited to join a sing-along with local band The Wandering Rocks, attend a workshop on decorative foods by professional chef and house caterer Steve Wilkinson, and participate in hands-on art projects.
A gallery talk will be given by Curatorial Assistant Alexis Goodin.
"Her focus will be on talking on objects that don't have a function in our current culture," Henry said.
A booklet developed for the event will be available for families who want to tour the museum's decorative arts collection, Tulgen said.
"It helps parents help kids to look at the decorative arts and know how to talk about them," she said.
Handmade items from the demonstrating artists will be on sale, as well as items from Spoon River Jewelry during a trunk show.
"I think it will be a fun day for people of all ages," Tulgen said.
To reach Edward Damon, email