Saturday, June 27, 2009

Raku Day

As you all know, I've been in a pottery class with an emphasis on the Japanese Raku style. Thursday was the last day of class, and we spent the day glazing and then firing the pieces we had made in the Raku kiln on our teacher's property.
Here's a load of bisque ware waiting to be glazed.
Here's the kiln loaded with glazed pieces.

The firings had to be done in small batches, because the pieces have to be kept at 1800 degrees until they're ready to be taken out of the kiln, one at a time, with a set of tongs, and put into the reduction material.

After it's put into the reduction material (something organic, like hay or leaves), the pieces are then covered with a bucket, or somehow have the oxygen cut off.
The tub that was used for this particular batch was then partially buried to further seal off the oxygen. We then waited for around twenty minutes or so to uncover the pieces.

Though you can't really tell from these pics, or even the video, when the piece is removed from the organic material and cooled a little, the colors begin to react to the oxygen that hits the piece. We could see the colors changing before our eyes as the pieces began to cool.

They were then plunged into a big tub of water while still hot. This is my piece after it came out of the tub and got scrubbed to remove the carbon from the glaze.
Here's the process of removing the red-hot pieces and putting them into the reduction:

And then being removed from the reduction and allowed to cool before plunging them into the water bath.

And here is moi with my finished piece.

What a great experience!


  1. Yeah...SOOOO cool.

    Thanks for documenting this.

  2. You're welcome! We were lucky it was "cooler" that day... Only around 95 degrees instead of the 103 it was the day before.
    The Garage of Doom needs an air conditioner, too!


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