Sunday, November 1, 2015

Three Successful Pieces from One Day Raku Session

I left this morning, and returned home about 5PM, soaking wet and cold and exhausted, but very happy.  It was a very good day.  And one good thing about raku - other than the fire and smoke and excitement - is that you can bring your pieces home - DONE - at the end of the day.  I am extremely pleased with the results with all 3 pieces :

Beautiful pierced ceramic pottery vessel with bright raku glazes.
A) Look at this sweet little piece.  It could be a candle holder, or just a decorative piece.  I love the colours, and the crackle effect of the glazes.  Here it is from a few more angles :
Beautiful pierced ceramic pottery vessel with bright raku glazes.
For my record, it was thrown from 1200 g sculptural clay.  The raku glazes I used are : Red, White/Clear Crackle, Copper Penny (bottom) with triangular insets of Peipenberg Red-Bronze (which comes out a beautiful bluish colour).  The black lines between glazes were marked with a 3 mm auto detailing tape, and then removed, and naturally blackened by the combustibles in the raku firing.  I really like how sharp and clear the lines ended up.  If I had more time, I would have liked to draw even more lines, and also try out a 1.5 mm tape.  But the glazing process was already time consuming enough, and between helping with the various batches of raku firing, I felt rushed to finish my pieces before the end of the day.

Beautiful pierced ceramic pottery vessel with bright raku glazes.
B) This is my second piece, a big brother to the previous piece.  Here it is from a few more angles :
Beautiful pierced ceramic pottery vessel with bright raku glazes.
For my records, it was thrown from 2 kg of sculptural clay (that's a large piece, for me!).  The raku glazes are again Red, Clear/White Crackle, and Piepenberg Red-Bronze (which comes out bluish, with some flashes of shiny bronze/copper).  It really is much more stunning than even the photos convey.

Unique and beautiful raku fired pottery vessel with fish bowl design.
C) This is my little "fish bowl" candle holder / vessel.  I am very pleased with it also, especially how the fish show up in bright colours against the dark green aquatic plants.  Here it is from a few more angles :
Unique and beautiful raku pottery vessel with carved fish bowl design.
It was thrown from 1600 g sculptural clay, and then the second layer of fish and plants attached, and then the areas carved out in-between.  The raku glazes are Piepenberg Red-Bronze (ring on top), Apple Crackle (aquatic foliage), then each fish finished differently, using a combination of Yellow and Red underglaze (with Clear/White Crackle glaze on top) and Red raku glaze, and for one of the fish, just Clear/White Crackle.  I also used a bit of Black underglaze, for the center of the eyes (where I also avoided adding glaze), and some of the fins.

I loved my first experience with raku firing, and this one was even more successful in many ways, so I very much look forward to the next opportunity, which will hopefully be in the Spring.

P.S. I was intrigued with these raku skulls (which make me think of the Terminator movie) which are NOT MINE, they were made by David Robinson of DMR Ceramics.  Pretty cool.  I was tempted to ask him if he could sell me one, but it occurred to me that my family may not be as fond of them as I am.  What do you think?  Would you (or someone you love) like one of these on your bookshelf?
I think I would pick the very shiny one on the left.

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