I was given an opportunity to shadow/participate in another Raku firing by Guild member Pamela Lambert. Of course, I jumped.
I’ve participated in Raku firings in the past, and considered this another chance to familiarize myself with the kiln available for this purpose at the Guild.
The kiln has two burners, but the blowers are not working, so getting to temp was inconsistent. I learned from Pamela that the use of pyrometric cones (which I’d never done in past pit/Raku firings), really helps to gauge and judge the glaze characteristics.
I also learned that using the recycled clay body for Raku is a gamble, even if pre-heating the pieces on top of the kiln. But the experience was valuable, even if I wasn’t happy with the end-result. It’s an exciting process, though. As an artist, you liberate your expectations for the final results to whatever happens in the kiln atmosphere and your intended glaze – as well as how you decide to reduce it – in the smoky holding bins, or by crackling the surface.
My goal for the month is to use a correct clay body, and test some glaze recipes for a solo Raku firing some time in the future.
Also, below are outtakes from more artists at work at the studio. See their work on display at the BPG Fall sale, November 6-9.