Raku Firing Class
I had a wonderful weekend creating Raku fired ceramics.
We spent the day with a lovely couple of ladies in their beautiful garden learning about and getting hands on with Raku.
Raku is an ancient Japanese style of firing pots used in tea ceremonies where a vessel is hand built and then fired at a low temperature relatively quickly, it is removed whilst still very hot and allowed to cool in the open air whilst being held by tongs by the maker. The vessel is still porous so the tea is drank quickly and then the vessel is discarded.
Now Raku is more commonly associated with the western way of removing the pot from the kiln and placing in a bucket of saw dust or paper, then once slightly cooled plunging in cold water to clean and reveal the smoked crackle lines.
It was great to be allowed to be involved in the handling of the work directly from the kilns to the buckets and then to be cleaned. The process is so much quicker than electric kiln firing where the glaze needs to develop for up to a day.
I was very pleased with the results and loved the fact that you couldn't control the way the glaze and smoke would make your piece look.
Each piece is so organic and natural. I think I will be definitely doing more Raku in the near future.