TimeThis event takes place over 3 consecutive weekends
A Complete Introduction to RAKU – 4 Days
This 4 day course is run in two parts, the first being over two consecutive Saturdays, is all about the making. The second part (taking place over a weekend) is focused on decorating and dramatic outdoor firings, using the American Raku techniques of Paul Soldner. No prior experience of pottery is necessary.
DAYS 1 & 2
During the making days, students will use specialist Raku Clay’s and will be introduced to a variety of techniques including throwing on the wheel and hand-building and in week 2, application of terra sigillata and burnishing to achieve maximum visual impact. More experienced potters can work on their own projects, but smaller simpler items work best.
DAYS 3 & 4
In Part 2 – The day starts with decoration and glazing the now bisque fired pieces, and preparing work to be fired in a number of different ways over the 2 day period; Naked Raku (a technique using clay slip rather than glaze to produce a dramatic smoked matt crackle effect) Raku Glazing and Foil Sagger Firing.
Once work has had sufficient time to dry this will be followed by outdoor firing in a gas Raku kiln. At 1000 degrees the red hot pieces are lifted out and plunged into a bed of sawdust. It’s in the reduced atmosphere of burning sawdust that the magic happens – the sudden change in temperature causes the molten glaze to crackle and the carbon in the smoke causes the unglazed areas to blacken. This firing technique can also produce some stunning metallic surfaces, especially when using a copper glaze.
The last step is to plunge the blackened pots into cold water and fish them out for cleaning. It’s only at this stage that the final results are revealed. Expect to get very hands on!
By the end of the course you will have made, decorated, fired and cleaned around 6-8 pieces which you’ll be able to take home with you at the end of the last day.
Day 1 & 2 runs from 10am – 3.30pm.
Day 3 & 4 starts at 10am and usually finishes by 5pm, depending on how many firings we do.
For days 1,2 & 3 Students are asked to bring their own packed lunch and on the last day (Day 4) we have a communal lunch, with each person bringing a dish to share. We will spend most of the day outside and around a hot kiln and sawdust so closed footwear and old outdoor clothing (cotton/linen) are recommended (covering arms and legs and not too loose). There is some outdoor shelter should it rain.
Tea, Coffee and Water are provided. All equipment, materials and firing is included. If you have your own Raku tongs, and protective clothing please bring them with you.
Day 1 | Saturday 27 July
- 10:00 - 15:00
- This day is focused on making pots. Learn the techniques needed to build the clay forms.
Day 2 | Saturday 3 August
- 10:00 - 15:00
- Making & Finishing
- This day is all about finishing the fine detail of your pots using burnishing and terra sigillata
Day 3 | 10 August
- 10:00 - 17:00
- Glazing & Decorating
- Here we will look at a number of techniques: Raku Glazes, layering and masking, Explore Naked Raku and Sagger Firing
Day 4 | Sunday 11 August
- 10:00 - 17:00
- The culmination of all your hard work, the last day will be very hands on as we fire the work!