Sunday, May 31, 2015

Last Raku at Palmer Hall

Yesterday was officially the last raku firings at our "old" building. The art program is moving to the new Palmer-Martin building over the summer and all our classes will be on the south side of the street next year. 

raku pieces cooling off after firing

There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house this coming Tuesday at YVCC.  I will not be able to attend, since it is scheduled during one of my class critiques, but I believe the studios will be open. I hope to get over there later in the day or later in the week.

hot pieces being removed from the raku kiln

My students and I fired the kiln for about five hours yesterday and got through at least five rounds of work in the super heat. The morning was actually fairly nice, but the heat, sun, and smoke started to be exhausting by the middle of the day. One thing I'm looking forward to in the new space is air conditioning in the building that actually cools the building.

spraying water on a piece before dropping it in the reduction bucket

It might not be fair to blame the air conditioner, since our gas kiln was cooling down from about 600-700 degrees in the morning, but the studio has been unbearable most of the last two weeks. In the new building, kilns will be in a separate room from the rest of the studio, so hopefully we can keep cool in the warmer months.

taking work from the hot kiln

Yesterday's firing went well, we only lost two pieces, one was dropped, the other was too fragile to raku safely. The glaze results were pretty good all around and we had a lot of variety. We horse-haired a few things and several students tried resist techniques and layered glazes in new and innovative ways.

cooling work with resist, layered glazes, and burnt paper

The day was pretty warm in general. The high according to the NWS was only 90, but I think the forecast was higher than that. I know we felt warm because of the heat inside the building and because we were adding to the heat in our space with heat from the kiln. The smoke from the reduction buckets made it unpleasant to be outside in the shade much of the time.

a hot pot with horse hair burnt onto the surface (the shelf is on top to contain the smoke inside the pot)

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