News & Events

2-Day Firefest Coming to Montgomery County!!!

The small town of Star will be aglow with fiery fun during Firefest at STARworks, April 6 and 7. Firefest is a two-day festival celebrating the role of fire in the creation of art.


The event includes blazing finales, demonstrations in clay, glass and metal, artist talks, live music, food trucks, beer garden and the opportunity for attendees to get their hands dirty. Guest artists have been invited to create sculptures, present their work during artist talks and participate in finale events involving fire.

Firefest attendees can try working with hot glass, metal and clay during STARworks Open Studios on Friday evening. More in-depth workshops in each medium will be offered Saturday.

New for Firefest this year is “Kids Draw It, We Make It,” taking place Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. Local children, ages 5 – 12, were invited to submit drawings. The STARworks Glass team will pick a drawing to turn into a glass sculpture with the help of guest artist Eddie Bernard, founder of Wet Dog Glass. All submitted drawings will be on exhibit during the event.


Featured ceramic artist Sunkoo Yuh created a large sculpture at STARworks in February 2018 that will be fired during the festival and revealed when it has reached peak temperature and is still aflame during the Saturday night finale. Yuh, originally from South Korea, is a professor of art at the University of Georgia. His work focuses on architectural-scale sculpture and pushing clay to its limits of size.

Featured glass artist Ethan Stern will lead an exciting glassblowing demonstration for the Saturday night finale. Stern resides in Seattle, Washington, where he is the interim executive director of Pilchuck Glass School. His work is an exploration of abstraction, color, texture and light.

Featured metal artist Mac Metz will lead the iron pour during the finale, filling molds created by artists and scratch molds created by Firefest attendees. In addition to being a metal artist, Metz is the lead fabricator for Wet Dog Glass at STARworks and has contributed to the fabrication of glass studio equipment worldwide.

Special guest artists include Elizabeth Brim, Therman Statom and George McCauley. Brim is a metal artist working in western North Carolina who uses traditional and innovative blacksmithing techniques to produce work that mimics the look of soft fabric. Statom is a sculptor, glass artist and painter who is best known as a pioneer of the contemporary glass movement for his life-size glass ladders, chairs, tables and small-scale glass houses. McCauley is known for his pottery, narrative sculpture and “George’s House of Clay Wednesday Night Video Series” on Instagram and YouTube.

Other Firefest activities include an art sale and exhibition, live music by Cory Luetjen & the Traveling Blues Band and a sculpture bonfire. Finale events, slide shows, demonstrations, live entertainment and observing artists at work are all included in the price of admission.

Daily admission is $5. Children 12 and younger are admitted free. Open Studios and workshops will be additional costs. More information and a complete schedule of events can be found at

STARworks is seeking volunteers for Firefest to help with check-in, gallery sales, answering questions, monitoring the entrance and directing attendees. Volunteers who work three hours will receive free admission for the day and a coupon that can be used at Hot Glass Cold Beer. Those interested in volunteering should contact Mary Holmes by emailing or calling (910) 428-9001.

Firefest is sponsored in part by the North Carolina Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Town of Star, First Bank, Spruce Pine Batch, Wet Dog Glass and STARworks supporters.

STARworks is a project of Central Park NC, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the economy of the region by focusing on the sustainable use of our natural and cultural resources. 

STARworks is located at 100 Russell Drive in Star, just off I-73/74 in northern Montgomery County.  For more information, visit, call (910) 428-9001 or email