Thursday, June 12, 2008

2nd week

I'm tired man. Good tired. I-am-having-so-much-fun. Yesterday we did a Raku firing. Yes, I took pictures. I'm gonna try and post them but I am telling you I am tired so if I pass out in the middle of doing this...well then I'll get back to you. If I didn't have Johnny still in school I would become a full time student. I am contemplating part-time.

So like I said I'm tired. So HERE is an explanation of what Raku is if'n you don't know.
Basically you take your piece of pottery out of a super hot kiln (somewhere around 1800 degrees) and put it in a trash can full of newspaper or sawdust which ignites when the pottery hits it and this reduction process cause all kinds of unpredictable surprises. Big fun.

Hot kiln opened...

Pottery placed in newspaper filled can...

Fire, lid...

Wait about ten minutes and fish pot out of ashes. Dunk in water...


Here is that same leaf bowl when the kiln is opened before it goes in the flaming can.

For me it was exciting to see each and every piece come out. They were all so different.

That is just PART of one of my days in the last 2 weeks!


Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

I'd never before heard of raku, so the process was fascinating! I had no idea that could be done. But the finished product was certainly beautiful!

6/13/2008 02:34:00 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

TUA-The reduction of the atmosphere and the carbon do super cool things. I have always wanted to try this. The pieces are not functional as in they won't hold water because the clay hasn't vitrified. I am certain there are far better examples on the web of Raku pieces than our beginner pieces.

6/13/2008 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Shrinky said...

Oh my God, that is AWESOME!! Thank you for showing me, My fifteen-come-five year old starts college next year (life skills plus a few options). Guess what? Pottery is one of the options..


6/14/2008 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Shrinky- She will love it. It is frustrating catching on to the wheel sometimes but as soon as you realize everyone has some trouble and just relax you get it.

6/14/2008 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger The Follow Spot said...

I can only imagine how hard a college crafting class can be. Mold the clay, make an ashtray, put it in the kiln...2nd semester macrame pot holders

6/15/2008 01:45:00 AM  
Blogger la bellina mammina said...

fascinating - and that must be hot! Thanks for sharing, Mary.
I visited the Murano glass factory where they blow glasses and it was terribly warm.

6/15/2008 05:04:00 AM  
Blogger Coffee Messiah said...

What isn't hard, really and tiring?

My friend does a lot of her raku on the beach and in sand most of the time.

And you're right, each piece comes out so totally different. Surprise's are nice.

6/16/2008 04:27:00 AM  
Blogger D.K. Raed said...

I had no idea it would turn out so unusually beautiful. Is RAKU what gives that crackly distorted look? Very creative! I was afraid for the person's bare (sandaled) foot around that ignited garbage pail, though.

6/16/2008 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger CHEWY said...

I love the look of Raku pottery. Thanks for showing the process.

6/16/2008 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...


La Bellina- I love glass blowing. I would like to try it but I try to hold myself back from getting into too many things. They do have it at this school.

CM- They are doing a pit firing on the beach here in Oct. I will definitely be there.

DK- Yes. It's all that abrupt temp change.
Most of us did have on flip flops. Everything is very controlled. We were fine.

Chewy- I never thought I would love it so much. I'm going to try some more. Want to try the horse hair technique.

6/17/2008 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

so amazing....and so cool...thank you for sharing it....

6/18/2008 02:20:00 AM  
Blogger Hayden said...

I LOVE raku but had no idea how it was done.... very cool! Glad you're having a wonderful time.

6/23/2008 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger fairlane said...

Wicked cool.

6/24/2008 01:31:00 PM  

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