Monday, June 27, 2011

Raku Workshop

jeff and i offered a raku workshop over the weekend. typically the people who come are potters at various levels, from beginners to professionals who arrive with bisqued pots to raku. this time it was totally different!
we had a group of women from Pinehurst contact us and ask if it was possible for them to come and learn the process... they were not potters and had no pots to bring. we had quite a few pots bisqued and ready to go so we said sure, come on over!

we set up the glazing area on the porch and there was a nice breeze blowing all day. they were eager learners who asked great questions and weren't afraid to try techniques like wax resist and pouring and splashing glazes. midway through the day they took a break and had a picnic lunch on the porch, then went out to visit some nearby potteries.
they all had fun, were a little leery of getting too close to the fire and smoking cans, and each went home with a couple of successful pots.
on sunday we had some more pots of our own to finish so we went back at it and fired until about 9:30 pm.

we use shredded paper in cans for reduction, this time jeff tried the paper in sand, and putting the trash can over the pot method... we have a friend in NH who does this.

jeff's smokin' hot tile

beads and pendants
one of jeff's lamps... unfortunately a cracked lamp

it was a fun and exhausting couple of days, up next weekend... salt firing.... YAHOO!


  1. I'm going to have to come down there one of these days and raku with you.We can talk about Maine!
    Isn't it fun to watch people that have no clue when they open the cans?

  2. Love seeing the process and your beads and pendants look great; what is your bead hanger made from? Those must be sturdy nichrome wires? When we raku'd at the college we never used water to hose off the pots; do you wait till they are cooled off? Now that we've had some rain I've got to try out my raku kiln. Wish I lived closer I'd take one of your classes just to refamiliarize myself with the process.

  3. Linda - we take pieces out of the cans while hot and dunk them in a bucket of water... you can watch the colors of the surface change as you do it. it seems to bring out the blues & reds in some glazes. we used a hose on some of the fat lamps because the buckets weren't wide enough.
    we haven't had much rain either. we mowed the lawn the night before and had the hose and fire extinguishers close by.

  4. Tracey - raku firing together would be great! it would be good to see your techniques. there are so many ways to raku.
    these women definitely left with an appreciation for what we do and why pottery is priced as it is. all of their pots survived but they saw that two big carved lamps had cracks and two other vases needed to be fired again.

  5. Linda, I forgot to answer your question... the bead rack is a ring that i threw on the wheel, put holes into and bisque fired. i have a few of them and some can stack on top of each other. they last a few firings before they crack. the wires are bead wire bought at a ceramic supply store. pendants i fire on a bisqued plate with a rim that can be easily picked up with the tongs.


I welcome and appreciate comments. Lately I have had a lot of spam and therefore have had to turn on word verification as well as comment moderation for posts older than 14 days.