Today I had the pleasure of attending another raku workshop with Tony Wilson at Shadbolt Center for the Arts (see results from the previous raku workshop here). I came home smelling like a campfire, tired, and very happy with my new treasures, and with my memories of a fun and exciting day with old friends and new ones.
Since the raku firing is at a relatively low temperature (1860 F or Cone 06), the clay is still somewhat porous and the glazes don't form a watertight seal either, so the items are not considered food safe or suitable for holding water. So I carve my items, so they can be enjoyed for decoration or for holding dry objects (fruit should be okay), but not for holding liquids. These are three of the items I fired today :
I am happy with both of the plates / platters. The red is the raku glaze. The yellow is an underglaze, which was covered by a clear crackle glaze, but I don't seem to have added enough glaze to get any crackling effect. But still nice. I think the plate with the red flower is finished with the Piepenberg Red-Bronze (which always ends up crackly blue for me). The one with the yellow flower was finished with one of the new glazes mixed at Shadbolt. Unfortunately, that particular firing went a bit quickly, and that Turquoise glaze didn't fully mature, so a few of us ended up with bubbles and other funky effects. Tony has offered to re-fire these at the next workshop in October, but I'll see. I think I can grind down the rough edges formed by the bubbles, and it should be good to go. I don't mind the other funkiness.
The bowl is also glazed in the same red, but it either had too thin of a coat, or the oxygen reduction was not strong enough, since it turned out more of a pink than a red. But it is still quite nice. The center should be more yellow, like the other flower, but it is only somewhat yellow. Still nice. I think this one was finished in Apple Crackle, with a topping of Clear Crackle glaze. Nice effects on the back. I should have take a photo of the reverse sides. Oh well. Too tired.
The fourth piece is a candle holder for my sister Rose, for her birthday, so we'll need to wait until June to post photos, so I won't ruin the surprise. See this post for the hole-poked candle holder as greenware. Let's just say that the results were pretty satisfying, and keep it at that for now.