Sunday, April 28, 2013

Raku Firing for Continuing Students

In response to requests from my increasingly large continuing clay student cohort, today we held a raku firing just for intermediate, advanced and independent clay students. Everyone present had participated in at least one raku firing previously, and several students had done many firings.

Tonya's "horse hair" technique. She got some impressive results with feathers

Grace moving hot work. Mike adding combustibles to the barrel.

We instituted a new policy designed to get the work to the kiln more quickly. Though the pilot run of the new policy had a few snags, the overall effect was to reduce firing time significantly. Also, because everyone followed directions and was prepared, nothing exploded during the firing, I didn't have to stand next to the kiln calling for more work and, to my knowledge, no one left the firing unhappy because their work didn't get in.

Our kiln setup in action.

Katie removing a hot pot with her new red glaze.

We fired in the afternoon today and I didn't have to do very much work since the students took the lead on set up, running the reduction buckets and removing work from the kiln, and even clean up. I even found myself in a few conversations about reduction, the burner set up and some other, more advanced level conversations, since the basics were running smoothly.

Janice's flashy vase.

Tonya's horse hair pot.

Adding leaves to a reduction bucket.

Janice's successes.

Resolution for next time: remember (on the first try) how we set up the counterweight.

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