Raku is a ceramic technique developed in the 16th century in Japan and is primarily a Low firing process for clay pottery. In the mid-20th century the process was modernised and moved away from traditional wood fired kilns to gas fired kilns.
This is a highly unpredictable process which can be frustrating. However with a mixture of nervous excitement and anticipation the rewards can be great, producing spectacular and unique results with every piece. It is impossible for even a seasoned Raku potter to predict a result or be a perfectionist!
Each firing can take about half an hour and depends hugely on the weather conditions, affected by wind, humidity and temperature. The risk of thermal shock adds to the intensity, as the kiln is taken up to temperatures near to 1000 degrees C. This means that some pieces need to be carefully thought through, walls must not be too thin and joints can add points of weakness. Flat items such as plates or tiles are notorious for cracking!
Using glazes, resists and oxides can give further interest to a finished vessel. Burnishing and carbonising non-coloured areas adds contrast and texture.
The risks, anticipation and thrill of removing glowing pieces from the kiln adds to the extraordinary excitement surrounding this technique!
Raku workshops run from about 9.00am – 5pm (approx.). The cost for those attending is £150 for per workshop for current students, which includes all refreshments and a yummy lunch. Helen and Eunice will guide you through the process of glazing and Raku firing 5-6 pieces.
For current students please note that in addition to the workshop fee, any items you make will be weighed and charged per 100g to cover the materials and firing costs.
Those not attending the studio can bring their own bisqueware (6 pieces, max dimensions 12cm diam. 20cm height). It is recommended that these are made from a strong white clay, can be slipped, burnishing can improve contrast and perhaps add texture (see images for helpful suggestions). For those unable to make their own pieces a selection of pots will be available to fire from the studio (6 pieces costing £25).
This also includes all refreshments, a yummy lunch and all tuition.
If you have a gift voucher to use please choose this ticket option. Please quote the booking code of your Voucher if known in the "How Did You Hear About Us" field which follows. After you book we will be in touch to discuss any over or under payment. Thank you.