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Come and enjoy experimenting with the ancient Japanese Raku technique of glazing and firing.
What is Raku?
Raku is a pottery firing process developed in 16th century Japan for the Japanese tea ceremony. The pieces are glazed, dried and put directly into a hot kiln outside where they remain for about half an hour until the glazes have melted at a temperature of approximately 1000°c. The pieces are then removed from the gas fired kiln with long Raku tongs, put into a nest of sawdust and covered with a metal cover – creating a reduction chamber. This reduction atmosphere changes the molten glaze to produce the most wonderful colourful, lustrous crackle glazes which are associated with Raku Pottery.
Raku firing is one of the most dramatic, fast moving and exciting ways to fire pottery!!Creating unique irresistible pieces and highly in vogue at present.
Our Raku workshop is a fun experience (day out), perfect for all levels and interests – a great gift or special treat.
You don’t get just 1 of our talented pottery tutors, not even 2, but 3!
Our experienced tutors Jane Sleator, Maria Stalley and Carol Wenham provide all equipment necessary for this fast moving day of working with heat, sawdust, fire and smoky bins!
The class takes place inside and outside and during the day students should expect to come away with 3 Raku fired pieces.
If you are already a potter, you are welcome to bring your own bisque fired pieces to fire provided they are within the specified measurements 5” wide x 10” high, we advise you to use a grogged clay such as school buff, crank or earthstone, bisque fired only to 1000 degrees.
For beginners that haven’t worked with pottery we will provide a selection of bisque fried pots and vessels for you to choose from for a small fee of £3 each. So even if you do not have any pottery experience you will have a great day and take home some beautiful Raku fired pots! You can prepay for this pots when you book or pay on the day, its up to you.
On the day and included in the price…
Tea and coffee will be served throughout the day.
Welcome talk and discussion about the principles of Raku.
Experimenting inside with different glazing techniques and ideas.
Outside you’ll work on setting the kiln u and taking your piece out of the kiln, experimenting with different materials, creating the most amazing effects! Techniques include:-Luster Raku-Slip resist-Naked Raku-Horsehair/feather Raku.
Once your piece is fired you will learn how to clean your pots.
For lunch…please bring your own packed lunch, as we will be firing pots all day. Individually you will find a natural time to break for lunch.
To finish off the day, we will have some lovely fresh baked cakes for you too!
Because the raku firing takes place outside it is therefore dependent on no high winds or lashing rain. If the weather forecast is not looking good then we will contact you to rearrange a suitable date.
Please wear old clothes with long sleeves, have long hair tied up and remove all jewellery for this experience.
We will provide aprons and gloves.
A safety briefing will be held at the dining of the day.