Downtown coffee shop patrons get 'mugged' on Wednesday (PHOTOS) - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Downtown coffee shop patrons get ‘mugged’ on Wednesday (PHOTOS)

CASPER, Wyo. — Several Las Vegas artists in Casper “mugged” patrons of the Bourgeois Pig around 9:30 am on Wednesday, July 3.

The mugging artists said they were planning to mug other local business.

Curiously, none of the coffee shop patrons said they would be pressing charges.

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Perhaps that is because the “mugging” was a way for the artists to let people know about the second annual “Wyoming Clay Festival” at Art 321.

Thelma Davis, Beth MacLeod and Spencer Ebbinga are ceramic artists who came to the festival with “Clay Arts Vegas.”

They’d handcrafted some clay mugs which they were giving away to the coffee shop patrons for free.

They said they’ll also be leading one of the festival events planned for Saturday.

“The purpose of the festival is to bring potters from Wyoming and the region to connect, share and sell work,” Art 321 said.

Art 321 says that the festival will go from 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday, July 6.

Prior to that, Clay Arts Vegas Supervisor Peter Jakubowski will give an artist presentation from 10 am to 12 pm on Friday, demonstrating aspects of ceramics and pottery making.

Various activities are planned for Saturday along with artists selling their wares in booths at Art 321’s space.

Clay throwing, wheel and other demonstrations will be offered throughout the day.

An artist talk will be given by Elaine Henry that the “muggers” said will be called “50 Wood-fires, 50 States.”

They said that Henry is one of the top ceramic artists in the world and has made and fired pieces in every state. Her talk will address things like the way different woods and temperatures affect the firing process.

Davis, MacLeod and Ebbinga said they’ll be leading a “seed bomb” workshop for children.

That involves wrapping clay around wildflower seeds native to the area, which Davis said the kids can then take and throw into fields to “bomb” them with flowers.

“What’s more fun than kids getting their hands dirty?” MacLeod added.

The advantage of the seed bombs is that birds won’t eat the seeds and once the soil gets moist, the seeds can begin to sprout, the artists explained.

Wyoming Plant Company will be donating those seeds.

The Clay Art Vegas booth will feature both functional and decorative works, they added.

Davis, MacLeod and Ebbinga also talked about why they have a passion for ceramics.

Making totems for her yard has been Davis’ latest focus, and she added that she likes to gain “experience with texture and things that express.”

“To me, it’s all about the journey,” Davis added.

MacLeod said she agrees.

“I’ve been told my style is whimsy,” MacLeod said, adding that she likes using bright colors. “I like to make lamps.”

“The arts feed your soul.”

Ebbinga said he usually lives in Tacoma, Washington but flew to Vegas to join the other artists on their drive out to Wyoming.

“It tempers the madness of everything that’s going on,” Ebbinga said of art.

He said that his own art tends to touch on politics and culture and said that art can “express different points of view, and possibly change someone’s point of view.”

The trio said they plan to find a good place to watch the fireworks display on Thursday to celebrate the Fourth of July.

They’ve also been visiting some natural spots like Casper Mountain and Garden Creek Falls, adding that they have plans to rent a pontoon at Alcova Reservoir.

Then they rushed out the door to go mug other people around downtown Casper.

NOTE: An Oil City News reporter was also mugged by the artists. We won’t be pressing charges.