Fall Raku Workshops

Raku Leaf DishAutumn brings the cool weather and Your Creation Station’s Raku Workshops!  We will be holding three workshops this year, one session to make your own piece and two sessions for firing.  You can choose to make your own piece during the “Make It” session and then raku fire the piece during one of our two “Fire It” sessions.  Dates are: Make It on Oct. 30 @ 6:30 PM, Fire It on Nov. 5 from 6 PM and Nov. 13 from 6 PM.  Register online or by calling the store.  The cost for the Make It workshop is $45 (both sessions) and the cost for a single Fire It session is $35, all materials are included.

What is Raku?

Taking the top off of the raku kiln.

There are more certainly more detailed explanations of raku that include its history, traditional forms, glazes and other related topics but until we can sit down to write our own version, here’s the quick and dirty of it.  Of course, we are more than happy to discuss all the what’s and hows during the workshops.

Reducing the pots.Raku is the term used to describe a type of pottery that is fired using a particular technique.  Normally at Your Creation Station, after you paint your pottery, we coat it with a clear over glaze and heat it for about 5 hours it in our electric kiln to approximately 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.  After reaching 1800 degrees, the pottery cools slowly for about 18 hours until we can touch it with our bare hands.  There isn’t a whole lot to watch or see during the process.

Inside the hot kiln.When we do a raku fire, we place the glazed piece in a much smaller kiln and heat it using a propane burner to about the same temperature in about 15 minutes.  During the fire, you can look into the kiln and actually see the glaze melt on the piece as it heats in the kiln.  Once the glaze has melted, we take the top off of the kiln and place the orange hot piece into a small garbage can full of shredded paper.  The heat from the pottery ignites the paper starting a fire and we put a lid on the can.  As the fire burns, it consumes the oxygen trapped inside the garbage can as well as any oxygen in the glazes on the pottery producing very distinctive effects in the glaze.  Unglazed areas turn black as the soot from the fire is sucked into the quickly cooling clay.  Its pretty spectacular and there is a lot to watch.

What to Expect

We are offing two types of raku workshops this year, a “Make It” workshop and a “Fire It” workshop.  If you choose to do the “Make It” workshop, plan on coming to Your Creation Station for two sessions, one to make the piece and one to fire it.  After you make the piece, we’ll let it dry, bisque fire it and have it ready for you when you return.  Baring unforeseen demand, we are planning only two raku fires this year so should you choose the Make It workshop, you will either need to plan on being here for one of the two Fire It sessions or glaze your piece before the session and pick it up at a later date.  If you prefer to select a pre-made piece, plan on attending one of the two Fire It sessions. or come in to the studio and paint it before the session and come back to pick the piece up.  If you are here for the fire, you can leave with the finished piece that day.

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