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Raku Pottery!! I'm so proud!!

Raku is a kind of firing technique. It's a lower temperature burn and, in giant mittens and using huge four-feet metal tongs, you take the glowing pots straight out of the kiln and into a trash can full of either shredded newspapers or sawdust. You can add other organics to the can to enfuse your piece with the essense of whatever poety poetry artsy blah. Then after about ten minutes you move the pieces into water to cool. It's really fun because when you put the hot pottery in the can it makes a HUGE fire and tonight someone almost set their hair on fire. I blinded myself temporarily from the smoke and freaked out because I couldn't see to put more newspaper on top of my pottery. It was awesome!! The other really super cool thing about raku is that there is a lot of metallics in the glaze so they have a gorgeous shiny yet poisonous luster. I love the shiny! Plus, the clay that isn't glazed takes on the carbon from the burning organic material and turns a dark burnt color. So sit yourselves down - enjoy

Leaves of Grass Leaves of Grass
My first raku! You can't tell from the picture but this piece is REALLY shiny and really pretty. I'm so incredibly proud of this one. I burned it with daisies.
Blades of Grass Leaves of Grass
From another angle. I carved lines in the side trying to be artistic and it looked like grass hence the title. It's slab pottery and very amateur but i'm still really pleased with how it turned out.
Leaves of Grass and Thing Leaves of Grass and Tea Thing
You can get a better idea of the shine from this image. If you actually see it in person the indented areas have copper coloring (purely accidently, raku is extremely random). Thing was one of my ugliest pieces and I glazed it and hoped for the best. Now I adore it and don't want to give it away liked I'd orignally planned. It, too, is rather shiny and has two different glazes on it plus a flower design. I burned it with tea ...
Blades of Grass and Thing Leaves of Grass and Tea Thing
You can see the copper patch from this angle and maybe can get an idea of the copper creases as well as the two tones of the glazing on Tea Thing. It's prettier than it looks in the picture.
Autumn Autumn
This is a Christmas present for Redd. Redd - don't look closely at this and forget about it by December! It has a dull luster glaze and I waxed the leaf cutouts to protect my carving. The unglazed parts in raku firing take on the carbon from the burning organics. This was burned with fallen oak leaves.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2008 05:43 am (UTC)
I've known about the whole Raku thing for a while. I wanna do it!
Mar. 6th, 2008 02:50 am (UTC)
you would have so much fun in this class!!!

we have a kind of limit on how many pieces we can make (because we don't pay for the clay, the school provides it so you have to make sure everyone has enough) and I want to make stuff for everyone. i already have some stuff made and high fire glazed before i learned how cool the raku is and now i want to remake everyone's item so i can raku it!! LOL! oh well. maybe after i high fire the ones i've glazed i'll think that is equally cool and not be sad everyones not getting a raku piece.

there is an AMAZING glass store down in FWB now. we bragged about you when we were in there last Saturday. when you come down to visit maybe we can get in there so you can see it. they charge $80 for teaching people how to make glass beads! can you believe that? but the people there are very nice and chatty and the artwork they make is incredible.
Mar. 5th, 2008 12:07 pm (UTC)
Mar. 6th, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)
seriously - if you ever get a chance to take a pottery glass i soooooo highly recommend it! :)
Mar. 5th, 2008 06:19 pm (UTC)

Always wanted to take a pottery class in college but couldn't get in it.
Mar. 6th, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
i was actually nervous because i'm not particularly artistic even though i have a great desire to be so...but it is a lot of fun and you don't need to be very talented! LOL! so if you ever get a chance in your busy schedule i recommend it! you have to sign up quickly, though, because they do fill quickly.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 6th, 2008 12:13 am (UTC)
LOL! Good! I have another thing for you, too, so you will have at least one surprise. Except that I will probably not be able to keep that a secret either...


And we went in to Glass Act down in FWB to get some glass to melt in pottery class. that store is AMAZING. the classes there are expensive but the work they do might be worth it... i'd have to save up, though. :)
Mar. 5th, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)

I want to learn how to do that!
Mar. 6th, 2008 03:04 am (UTC)
they don't do pottery over the summer BUT i bet you and your mom would LOVE this class so maybe next Fall or Spring semester. the evening one is from 5-7 pm two nights a week but so long as you are getting your time in and producing he's flexible about you being there during "class hours". so it's possible to go during open lab times (they vary each semester) if you need to make up time.

you could make beads for jewelry!!!
or vases or glasses or plates or trays or whatever!!

the hardest part i think is going to be parting with the stuff. because i already want to keep everything i've made so far. (sigh)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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