Red Hot Raku (Raku Workhop Part 1)

Hake and regular paintbrushes.

Hake and regular paintbrushes.

Clay Maven

You know how I love to “play with clay“?  This summer I learned something new.  I learned Raku!

I just finished a wonderful workshop given by master ceramicist, Peter Syak.  He instructed more and less experienced (umm, that would be me) students how to create vases, plates, boxes and sculptures, and how to fire them in a raku kiln.

According to Wikipedia, Raku originated in Japan and is “thick-walled, rough, lead-glazed earthenware.” Raku means “enjoyment, comfort and ease.”  The workshop was definitely enjoyable, but as for comfort, I smelled like a smokestack at the end of the day.  As for ease, I’m not so sure.  If it weren’t for Peter’s engineering-background and careful attention to detail and safety, we might have glowed orange like our pots after baking in 1800 degrees Fahrenheit!

Over four weeks, we hand-built with raku clay and painted with glaze.  Peter bisque-fired our greenware.

I couldn’t wait to take part in a raku firing.  Hon, hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed the process!

Outdoor kiln.

Outdoor kiln.

A propane tank feeds gas into the kiln.  Our pieces are already inside, baking as the Pyrometer tells us when the temperature has reached about 1600 degrees F.

Fire bricks support the kiln lid and our work.

Fire bricks support the kiln lid and our work.

Low temperature.

Low temperature.

Extremely hot!

Extremely hot!

 

 

 

 

 

Hor air vent on top of kiln.

Hor air vent on top of kiln.

Maxine and Peter (carefully) remove the kiln lid.

Maxine and Peter (carefully) remove the kiln lid.

Our pieces glow orange.

Our pieces glow orange.

Red Hot Raku!

 

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3 thoughts on “Red Hot Raku (Raku Workhop Part 1)

  1. Pingback: Playing With Fire, Raku 2015 | Bmore energy

  2. Pingback: Raku Results (Raku Workshop Part 3) | Bmore energy

  3. Pingback: Raku Reaction (Raku Workshop Part 2) | Bmore energy

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