Spent part of the day Friday learning how to do raku firing for the clay pieces we made earlier this summer. It’s quite a process, but I loved every minute of it!
I believe there were 7 of us who made these little clay pieces, so we made LOTS of stuff!
Our expert host, James Freeman, walked us through all the steps. After we made these pieces, he fired them in his kiln so they were ready for us.
We had to glaze them, which is interesting. What you put on, is not what comes out!
The raku firing is done in a kiln outside. The pieces are fired to about 1500 degress and then are dropped into a container with grass or straw. One of our containers had pine straw and even the smoke from that smelled good!
The kiln is small, so you can’t put too many pieces in at once. Our first load had no issues, but we had some explosions in our second load. James deduced that our glaze was still too damp. He prefers to glaze one day and fire the next, but that’s not easy with a large group! So we dried our pieces by the heater and soldiered on.
This is what we had after the first two loads.
When you see these pieces up close…well, let’s just say that I love everything about raku fired pottery.
And what does this have to do with my fiber art, you ask? Well, I made flat pieces that I plan on using as embellishments. We will see how that turns out, as I have large pieces that need to be broken, painted, filed, shaped…it may work and it may not, but I’m going to give it a shot!
I do not have a good mind for envisioning 3D clay, so I’m definitely not going to be adding that to my list of hobby interests. But I have always loved raku work and loved learning more about how it’s done. Raku beads are on my must have list so I hope that what I’ve made with my own hands will be useable!
Thank you to my KEQ group for sharing their diversity of talent and letting us experiment with new materials and ideas!