Friday, May 14, 2010

Last Raku fire for my class

My class was over yesterday to finish up our session with one last Raku fire. Everyone had great success and not one broken pot! The cup above was made by Amber and is one of her first wheel thrown pieces. Way to go Amber! Thanks to everyone for the breakfast frittata, the veggie chili, spinach salad and pasta. See why I invite them over? They feed me really well!!!! All I did was make some red zinger tea and lemonade :)
Charlotte is testing some underglazes and terra sig with her Raku pieces and getting some nice results. I like the turtles she is adding on her work. We will probably see lots of turtles on things around the studio now. When anyone does something a bit creative like this, it starts popping up on lots of other work. I had a friend one time that suggested it was just heightened awareness. I could say what I think it really is, but I'll be nice......after all, there are lots of people in the world putting turtles on their work :)
Bridget continues to come up with fun ideas for her hand building. She used a cut glass bowl as a mold for this piece. Nice result. I hope Linda Starr is taking notes here:)
More of Ronnie's bubble trays. I love this idea! Ronnie brought her little boy Josh along, but did I get any pictures? No, I was too busy staring at his amazing blue eyes! He is going to drive the little girls crazy with those things soon!
Here is a little experiment. I don't like the way my white clay body looks on the ^6 trays I made, so I put them through a Raku fire yesterday and got much better results. It didn't change the look of the glaze at all, just gave me a black bottom, which I much prefer.
So, another Raku class comes to an end and I won't be teaching any this summer just working on more houses and barns to see where that goes. I have two more in the works right now that are taking me forever. One warped, so I need to slow down the drying and use more bracing. I think they may have to go smaller, the large ones are a beast, sigh....


cookingwithgas said...

over so soon! Seems like it just started-

Linda Starr said...

I am definitely taking notes. Great experiment refiring for a black bottom. I have heard of using cut glass for pattern, that one is really nice and great crackle on the first cup. What are the bubbles? are they glass? the underlgazes are they used along side or under the raku glazes. Wish I lived closer I'd be in the next class for sure. Raku is fun to do as a group and I think a group is needed to help with the reduction chambers and all.

Oh one of the folks in class used a torch to burn off black marks on her pot after the firing, have you heard/done that?

Tracey Broome said...

I know M. this class zoomed by. Linda, answers for you: the "bubbles" are indentions in the leather hard clay, maybe use the rounded end of your pin tool or a pencil eraser, something to make a shallow hole then fill in with different colors of raku glaze. They look like little jewels, but I bet you could add in chips of glass as well, just fire hot enough for the glass to melt, usually around 1900f will do it. The underglazes were painted on bone dry, bisque fired and then a base crackle brushed on, you can use most any translucent white(clear crackle) for this. I have seen people use a torch to get rid of the black, but I just use a green srubby pad, also using less newspaper will help avoid all those black marks. You can put newspaper in the can but have a brick inside to set the piece on to avoid so much contact with the paper, just make sure the paper ignites so you get the reduction.

Unknown said...

The firing seems to have gone well, Amber's cup is beautiful, i hope she continues to work with clay, she sure has a knack. I love how the raku worked for your tray.
Have you tried using paperclay fror your boxes and barns? I find it quite useful when trying to build things with large flat surfaces, and it has incredible dry strength.

ang design said...

another great raku some really sweet glazes..oooh sounds like you've hit on something with those barns trace..

Linda Starr said...

Thank you Tracey for being so willing to share your information about raku firing. I am both intrigued and drawn to this type of firing because it is so hands on with immediate results, I hope I get to do more very soon. Really great work you and your students have done and you're such an inspiration.

Good luck with your barn pieces. the one bird house I made is still drying and I move it each day so the bottom is on a fresh place that is dry. It seems like it is really a matter of closely watching and being attentive to large pieces to get them to dry uneventfully and without cracking. The right clay really helps and also the right drying conditions. My RV in the winter in the upper cabinets seemed just right I need to duplicate those conditions. Ha.

Tracey Broome said...

Elizabeth, I have not tried paper clay but have thought about it. It might be the answer for these larger pieces. Hi Ang, yes good Raku for my girls, and Linda, it's fun to see the Raku bug biting you! It's all about the instant gratification for me, and playing with the fire to see what it can do!