In this class, students will glaze and fire their own bisqueware using the Western Raku technique. This technique is borrowed from a Japanese tradition, most notably used to create tea ceremony ware. In both practices, work is removed from the kiln, glowing, at almost 2000 degrees. In Western Raku, the work is quickly cooled in metal containers filled with combustible material like newspapers. Quickly closing the containers causes a reduction of oxygen inside. This sudden reduction causes the special raku glazes, which have been designed to give a variety of responses from crackling to flashing with iridescence, to take on their characteristic appearance and the carbon in the atmosphere causes the raw clay to turn black. Since they cool so quickly, you can glaze, fire, and see results the same day! Students may bring their own bisqueware to be raku fired (with a limit of 4 small pieces per person), or may purchase bisqueware provided by the instructor(s) with a suggested donation to Arbutus Folk School of $5-10 per piece, by check or cash, upon arrival to the class. All other materials (e.g. raku glazes and propane), tools, and equipment will be provided. If you have some experience with hand building or throwing, you may like to take advantage of our three weekly Ceramics Open Studio sessions to make your own bisqueware for the raku firing workshop. Just click on the link for more information, or to register for an open studio session. Raku is an extreme process and long thin pieces with extrusions are not ideal for this type of firing. Bisqueware will be picked up while red hot from the kiln using long metal tongs so small cup, bowl or vase shapes, no more than 10-12 inches tall, are best. Please be aware that raku ware is not watertight or food safe and is for decorative purposes only. The firing process takes place outside so please be on the lookout for an email from your instructor(s) if the weather is inclement. Students should wear closed-toed shoes and clothing made from natural, non-flammable material. Enter through the alley behind the school.
Message phone: (360) 350-0187
120 State Avenue NE, #298
Olympia, WA 98501
Facility Physical Address (no mail please):705 4th Ave E
Olympia, WA 98506
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