Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Clumsy ceramists (like me) beware…

A few blogs back I mentioned how the term “raku” might as well have been pig latin (or real latin!) to my non-ceramist ears. But guess what people? I’m learning! Here’s what I know so far: Raku firing is a super cool process that first involves firing pottery or bisque in a kiln to about 1900º Fahrenheit. The ware is then removed from the kiln with long tongs, and put into a container with combustible material, such as sawdust, newspaper, or leaves. When the ware hits the material, it ignites! Here’s a picture:

The container is then covered, cutting off the oxygen supply. The chemical reaction between the burning material and the glaze on the ware creates awesome and unpredictable effects on the surface of the pottery. I’m sure more experienced ceramists could give you a lot more detail, but there’s my basic understanding! Not bad for a beginner, right? The results of raku firing are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Here are some AWESOME pieces done by Duncan Ambassador Musette Young on our new Duncan O4 Bisque Tribal Vases:
Aren’t they so cool? As much as I’d love to try it, I have to admit raku firing isn’t for accident-prone people like myself. Madi + a newspaper-filled inferno = Incredibly Dangerous Situation for Everyone Involved! I guess I’ll just have to stick to my cupcake projects for now.

1 comment:

  1. Raku looks dangerous...I'm gonna look into classes tonight.