Oh Raku, I Love You
Yesterday, I had the SUPREME FORTUNE to be able to watch 2 little pots that I glazed (a first time for me on that...) being fired and turned into my very own Raku pieces! As you may or may not know, I recently purchased a couple of Copper Matt Raku pieces from an artist in England because I completely fell in love with them. I found out from a local artist friend (thanks Joyce!) about a studio only 8 minutes from me that has classes on making pottery, Raku, or most anything you can imagine in art. (How did I not know this existed???) At her recommendation, Joyce felt it would be great for me to go and watch and make my own Raku...
so I DID!
Actually, I did GLAZE the pots. They had already been created at Our Creative Outlet in Sussex by another artist. I purchased those pots, glazed them and then watched Karen and Dan make complete MAGIC! I'd love to be able to be a little pyro and put those suckers into the kiln myself, but alas - insurance regulations will not let that happen. But in any event, it was the MOST EXCITING THING TO WATCH!!! Best art day ever! A big shout out and thank you to Karen and Dan for their hard work, patience and very giving spirit!
About the Raku process... This is a description I found on the internet. This may nor may not be exactly what was used yesterday, but I think it's really close:
"The Raku pottery process is very unique ceramic firing process. After the pottery has been bisque fired, it is glazed and Raku fired to a temperature of around 1800 (F) in a propane-fired Raku kiln. It takes about a 30 minutes to reach temperature. The pottery is removed from the Raku kiln with specially designed Raku tongs, while it is still glowing hot, and placed in a metal can filled with combustible materials. The heat from the pottery ignites the material and the can is immediately sealed. The fire quickly uses all the oxygen in the can and draws it from the pottery and glaze or "post fire reduction" The reduction stage is what causes the wonderfully unique, unpredictable and spontaneous patterns of color and metallic luster.
The gallery below gives you a "start to finish" kind of process with the beginning images being the plain pottery that the glaze is applied to and then the firing and retrieval process.
And of COURSE, the finished GORGEOUSNESS!
I'm so happy with my first attempts. I will definitely have to do this again!
Stay joyfully creative!