Alternative Firings: Raku Pottery with Joe Clark. A hands-on demonstration

River Arts on Water

Apr. 15, 2023, 12:00 pm

590 Water St
PHONE 608 643-5215

In this workshop, students will start out by choosing a pot from a selection of small, wheel-thrown, bisque-fired pots and bowls provided by Instructor Joe Clark. The pieces must be dipped in a slip the day before the workshop so that the slip is completely dry.

On the day of the workshop, the pieces will be dipped in a glaze which will dry rather quickly. Participants will then use toothpicks or wooden skewers to etch/draw a design through both the glaze and slip layers to the surface of the piece. Naked Raku results in a black and white finish; there will be no color on finished work.

Pieces will be fired in a gas raku kiln to around 1500 F and removed by Joe while still hot. They will be placed in a trash can filled with marsh hay where they will smoke for a few minutes to allow carbon from the smoke to darken the design that has been etched/drawn on the surface. After smoking, the pieces are removed while still very hot and set in a pan. At this point each participant will spray a stream of water onto their piece which will make the glaze and slip layer fall off like an eggshell, revealing the design drawn with smoke on the naked surface of the piece. A liquid wax can be applied to seal the surface and add some shine.

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