All posts are copyright Barbara Rogers 2018. Please ask if you wish to share, and give attribution to the author.My ancestry and more personal notes are now at a revised version of "When I Was 75."

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The process of Raku

I wanted to share more of the wonderful process of raku with you here today.  I've posted for the last couple of days about this workshop HERE and here.

Outside the BMCA clay studio...Raku is pretty smoky so it's usually done in the air rather than a building
Once the pieces reach temperature (glaze is melted) Bette removes hers from the kiln carefully...Bette is an experienced potter!

The piece is laid into a bin which contains a combustible material (shredded newspaper, sawdust etc.) more combustible is added, and the lid is placed on it after the fire shows.
A wet towel over the bin keeps smoke down and speeds the cooling.  In the background Geoff places another pot in a bin for Marsha
Again Maureen has the gloves and put the lid on the hot bin

Bette placed her piece in her bin in maybe a minute, while Marsha and Maureen were doing the same with her piece.  Geoff unloaded Marsha's, and maybe another couple of small pieces were also processed as this kiln load was emptied.  The only limit was the space in the kiln, one small shelf.

After about half an hour cooling, Bette takes the still hot piece from the bin with tongs

She places it quickly into the room temperature water bath, and will be able to take it out in just a few minutes.
Now cool to the touch, she lays it on the top of the wall for all to see
A beautiful butterfly, which can be rubbed a bit to clear off soot and bring out the iridescence of the glaze
Marsha reaches for a scrubby to work off the soot while standing over the water
Unglazed work sits on the wall, while bins smoke a bit in the background

And it's a beauty with both dark and light glazes showing!


  1. Replies
    1. Yes it is, though a lot of time and effort with the usual crossed fingers for success in pottery.

  2. I remember doing raku while in a college class. I still have a couple of pieces that made. They were not beauties.

    1. Oh L.D. yes, the class where we raku'ed, and the pit fire one, interesting memories, no? But even if your pieces are not beauties, you still have them! There must be a reason behind that!

  3. Looks fun -- and perhaps a bit nail-biting as to what the finished pieces will look like.


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