Raku is an ancient Japanese firing method that was developed in the sixteenth century as part of the Japanese tea ceremony.
Unlike a modern firing in an electric kiln, this firing entails firing pots very quickly and cooling very quickly. The pots are fired to 1000 degrees celsius in a propane filled kiln called oxidised firing and taken out whilst glowing red hot. It is then placed into an air tight metal container filled with combustible materials such as sawdust or newspaper. This is known as reduction firing. The reduction of oxygen and the carbon created from the smoking is what causes beautiful glaze effects of metallic and crackle. After waiting for the magic to happen, it is now ready to cool the pots in water and then scrub off the carbon deposits and reveal the highly metallic colours and crackle effects.
What makes Raku so exciting is that you never really know what you're going to get. The slight changes in temperature, glaze application, firing timing and the combustable materials used will effect the results on the pots. Every pot will be completely different.
Raku taster session dates
Costs:£185 Capacity: 5 people Ability level: Open to complete beginners or people who have experience.
Your first session will involve making 2 pots using a very strong gritty clay called crank. You will be taught how to make a pot by using the coiling and pinching method and will also make a pot on the wheel (suitable for complete beginners) To allow all pots to fit in the kiln at one time the diameter of your pot must not exceed over 12cm but height can reach up to 25cm. The second session will involve glazing your pots and firing them in our Raku kiln. You will learn about the process of Raku firing and will take control of loading and unloading your pot into the kiln. You will be safety briefed and will have to sign a disclaimer before you take part. This method entails working with extreme heat and fire but is only dangerous if safety instructions are not adhered to. Due to the thermal shock on the pots with this process there is always a chance of breakages. Unfortunately this is the nature of working with pottery and particularly the extreme Raku firing. We can not refund in such circumstances. PLEASE READ THE DOCUMENT BELOW FOR Q&A's and what to expect.