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Raku Fired Ceramics
10:00 on 22 August 2020
Studio Pavilion at House for an Art Lover
TUTOR Nicola Henderson
DAY Saturday 22 10am-12:30pm & Saturday 5 September 10am – 2pm
DATES 22 August & 5 September
LOCATION Art Studios
This course makes an ideal entry point for beginners who wish to try their hand at making with clay but is also suitable for those with experience who may wish to develop their own project ideas during the first workshop. This course involves two different workshops.
Day One – Hand Building Workshop
The first workshop introduces students to the basic and ancient pinch-pot technique with which to create one or two bowls as well as a larger bottle/vase or sculptural form by joining two pinch pots together. Decorating techniques and finishes will be introduced and discussed, including; burnishing, mark making through embossing or carving into clay, the characteristics of raku glazes and an explanation on the effects of flames and smoke on pieces during the reduction process.
Day Two – Glazing & Raku Firing Workshop
The second workshop introduces students to the basics of glazing – by brushing, dipping, pouring and splashing, as well as the use of wax resist and masking tape. Once students have glazed all their pieces, they will assist in the setting up of the raku kiln and reduction bins in the courtyard. The raku firing process incorporates a fast kiln firing, a transfer of the pots from the kiln into the reduction bins, followed by plunging them into cold water and a final cleaning with steel wool to remove the excess carbon. The student work will be ready to take home immediately on completion of the firings.
Learning Outcomes for Raku Fired Ceramics Course:
1. Techniques to control and shape clay – learn the pinch pot technique, score and slip method to join two pinch pots together, use of specific tools for shaping.
2. Tactile sensitivity and mindfulness – develop kinetic awareness of form through development of thickness/thinness of walls and floors. Slowing down and bringing attention back to the self, focusing on the feel of the clay and transformation of the clay into a vessel/organic form.
3. Health and safety issues surrounding clay – things you should be aware of.
4. Basic introduction to decorating and glazing methods for raku – burnishing, impressing, carving, understanding characteristics of raku glazes, effects of flame and smoke during the reduction process.
5. Introduction and background to raku/western raku firing – brief history and explanation of the difference between Japanese raku and newer western raku.