Saturday, March 3, 2012

Winter Quarter Raku

Today was a gorgeous day for raku. (Much better than last quarter when the heat was off in the building and I couldn't feel my toes.)

We only had a few students show up to fire raku work. The day was warm and beautiful, a bit windy at the end. We fired a load of Mike's work, then a load of Janice's work. We'd just started cleaning up when DJ showed up, but the weather was nice and I was firing the glaze kiln so we stayed to fire his load. None of the beginning students showed up, even though I offered extra credit.

putting on the lid and adjusting the counterweight

technical difficulties: one wire got stuck in the edge of the pulley

the first load: ready to fire

Venturi burner hooked up to propane
post-firing reduction buckets
 Most of the results were good. Janice and Mike's pieces had been glazed ahead of time. Janice layered a clear over one of the glazes that was not firing right last time around. Mike used a simple clear crackle.

partially combusted materials inside

good results: cooling

The mood surrounding the firing was calm and pleasant. We fortified ourselves with plenty of snacks, expecting a crowd because of the pleasant weather and option for extra credit. I should have taken a picture of the food because it was really impressive. We had bright yellow and orange and green and pink frosted cupcakes in honor of spring and someone's birthday. My daughter and I brought blueberries and strawberries and blackberries, but we didn't realized that our veggie tray (empty cookie box) with bright orange and yellow and red mini sweet peppers, carrots and green pea pods would match the cupcakes. Even the donuts had green frosting and green sprinkles.

Lighting the smoke firing

While the raku pieces fired and cooled, Mike smoked his barrel kiln, my daughter experimented with slip and then mopped up. The rest of us unloaded and loaded a kiln and started firing the glaze kiln uncovered end-of-the quarter forgotten work from the shelves and the damp cabinets. We found several pieces, still damp, from week 1 and 2 (it is now the end of week 9).

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