Playing With Fire, Raku 2015

Ceramic vase and tea box.
Ceramic vase and tea box.

Playing With Clay

This summer, I took a Raku class taught by master ceramicist, excellent teacher, and all-around wonderful guy, Peter SyakNot only did the hours fly by, the women I took the class with were great company. I was inspired by them, and by the talented students I take ceramics class with year-round. We learn from each other.

Pottery has given me a way to turn off stress, even if it’s just for a few hours a week.  And I don’t mind getting my hands dirty.

Since I took this class last summer and know how beautiful the glazes are, this spring I threw a bunch of clay pots with Raku clay at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey.

Do you know what we potters call ourselves? ADDICTED!  I’m pretty sure someone in our class wears a T-shirt that reads, “I’m a POT-head.”

To find out more about the Raku process, click on these links:

Red Hot Raku (Part 1)

Raku Reaction (Part 2)

Cool Results From Hot Pots (Part 3)

Hon, what do you do to turn off stress?

Raku Kiln. Our pieces were fired at about 1,750 degrees F.
Raku Kiln. Our pieces were fired at about 1,750 degrees F.

Lace-patterned ceramic vase.
Lace-patterned ceramic vase.

Shallow bowl and darted dish.
Shallow bowl and darted dish.

 

 

 

 

 

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Small wiggle-wire dishes.
Wiggle-wire dishes.

Small bowls with appliques and a tea light vessel.
Small bowls with appliques and a tea light vessel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Three different pots.
Three different pots.

Mugging for the Camera

wheel thrown ceramic mugs
wheel thrown ceramic mugs

handles and mug bodies are a challenge!
handles and mug bodies are a challenge!

hand built vessels and wheel thrown mug
hand built vessels and wheel thrown mug

wheel thrown cache pot
wheel thrown cache pot

Wheel thrown mugs, a cache pot and hand built vessels are my latest ceramic creations. When using dark brown clay, I leave a portion of the clay unglazed. Throwing matching mug bodies is a challenge (for me, at least) so I create pairs by glazing two mugs the same way. Can you tell I love letter stamps?  The vessels were an experiment that I’ll try again although I have no idea what to use them for.  Any ideas, hon? My favorite of this group is the cache pot. Randy’s red over spearmint glaze on speckled clay creates a metallic, dark bronze color. Great combination!