To celebrate the opening of the Studio for classes we have planned a Sensational Smoky Week from Monday the 12th of April. To set the ball rolling, not just for the Raku Firing on Thursday and the Naked Raku and Obvara Firing on Friday, but also the Barrel Firing Workshop on Saturday, we are offering two Terra Sigillata half-day workshops on Monday the 12th. There will be a talk and demonstration on Terra Sig, how to make it and how to apply it.

Bring your semi-burnished BONE DRY pieces ready to apply the silky Terra Sig onto your pieces. Caress your forms to give them a high shine. They will then be bisque fired over the next two days so they can be Barrel, Obvara or Naked Raku fired.

RAKU FIRING WORKSHOP

Thursday 15th April from 9:30 to 15:30 Cost: £110 (maximum 10 students)

Make 3 – 6 pieces. (One large piece allowed – no bigger than 30cm height x 20cm width).

Raku glaze your bisque fired pieces. Be involved in firing your wares. Get hands on to be part of the whole Raku firing process. Expect to be amazed at the results with this exciting and often unexpected fire smoke and flames adventure.

NAKED RAKU & OBVARA FIRING WORKSHOP

Friday 16th April from 9:30 to 15:30 Cost: £100 (maximum 10 students)

Make 3 – 6 pieces. (One large piece allowed – no bigger than 30cm height x 20cm width).

We’ll be firing your pieces quickly in a gas kiln – be involved in firing your wares. Once your pieces are at the right temperature they will be taken out with tongs, cooled slightly and either plunged into the Obvara batter or decoration added by horse hair/feathers and organic matter. Each piece will come out unique with these unusual effects. We can guarantee one thing with this unusual firing technique – it does tend to smell a bit!

Monday April 12th from 9:30 to 12:00 Terra Sigillata Workshop £40
Monday April 12th from 13:30 to 16:00 Terra Sigillata Workshop £40
Thursday April 15th from 9:30 to 15:30 Raku Firing Workshop £110
Friday April 16th from 9:30 to 15:30 Naked Raku & Obvara Workshop £100

Please call or email Alison to book and for information about courses.

 Raku – a brief insight

The firing technique of “RAKU” ware was first developed in Japan in the late Sixteenth century. The first items ever Raku fired were tea bowls.

The Raku firing technique utilizes a rapid rise in temperature in a propane fired kiln (Oxidised firing). The raku items are taken out of the kiln at glaze maturity and placed in an air tight container containing shredded newspaper and sawdust (Reduction firing). A short time later the raku items are taken out of the air tight container and either air cooled or sprayed or dipped in water.

The raku firing technique and the reduction cause the items to develop vivid colours and a copper sheen.  Fire and smoke create matt black surfaces in unglazed areas. Slight variations in glaze thickness cause the glaze to react and change colour. Oxygen deprivation (reduction), the fire and temperature changes cause the glazes to fully or partially reduce and cause interesting colours or patterns of colour or areas of bronze, copper or silver to develop. As a result the items have wonderful vivid colours and sheen.

The word Raku, when loosely translated, can mean joy, enjoyment, pleasure, comfort, happiness or contentment.

Raku firing       Download information on Raku Safety