Raku firing is exciting!
Peter Syak, our amazing instructor, mixes his own glazes. He knows how much exposure to air–or not, how much sawdust to add–or not, and how long to keep pots covered–or not, is required to get the amount of crackling, luster and intense color desired. Still, oxygen, heat, or a pause in placement of buckets all contribute to the outcome.
The earthenware’s temperature drops as it sits under the metal buckets. The reaction process stops when each piece is quenched in a trashcan filled with water. Soot is scrubbed off, pieces are cleaned, and we “ooh and ahh” at the results.
Have you heard of Horse-Hair Raku? I hadn’t either. Instead of placing a red-hot pot in a reduction chamber (ie. metal buckets with combustible material), its decorated by touching horse hairs to the the 1800 degree clay surface. The hair ignites, creating dark grey lines and smudges. Similarly, sugar sprinkled on the burning surface reacts with the clay. Take a look!
Hon, have you every tried raku? What did you create?