Sunday, 20 October 2019

raku event!

In preparation for this year's October raku event I created two simple pinch pots and left large areas on both pots unglazed with the "smoker" in mind. I have found, at other raku events, that bright colours produced a pleasing outcome, so I decided to glaze my little pots with the apple green.

The raku day really is an event: interested participants are from four different workshops and come together for a day of fun, chat, and food as we have a pot luck lunch which we casually nibble on once the pots are in the raku kiln. There were two firings planned, so there was lots of time for great company and conversation among the participants.

Once the firing was complete, workshop facilitator James Hayes turned off the gas, opened the kiln lid and pulled individual pots out of the kiln

and transferred them to the smoker. At previous raku events people experimented with patterning techniques, such as applying hair and/or feathers, spritzing with water and/or sprinkling sugar on their pots, but at this event mostly everyone just wanted pots to go directly to the "smoker" (a lidded bin full of sawdust) for carbonising.

One of the participants was especially brave taking responsibility for quickly removing and replacing the "smoker" lid (NB all safety measures were adhered to, it just looks daunting!).

After about 20 mins in the "smoker" the pots were removed and individually dunked in a bucket of cold water.

The pots could not be just left in the water or there could be a risk of a hole being burned into the bucket or the water getting too hot to cool following pots. The yard is pebbled so the pots could be placed on the ground to continue their cooling.

Everyone was quite pleased with how things went on the day. These are the pots from the first firing.

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