Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Making Detour

If I ever want to fire my raku kiln I realized I needed to get some things made so they can dry so I can bisque them so I can fire them. So I've gone off on a small making detour. Remember that soap dish, look at the nice nubs it makes.

I made these tall cylinders with texture then I wondered if textured pieces would be ok in a raku firing. Seems like I've always seen smooth pieces. Then I happened to venture to Michele's blog and saw she's been making some textured tiles for raku. So I thought the ones I have made may be ok to fire in raku. Wonder how Michele picks up a flat piece in a raku kiln? Maybe it hangs off a shelf slightly to make it easier to grab with tongs?

Not sure I could pick this up with tongs in a raku kiln but I'll see. Might as well push the envelope a little. Meanwhile two women will be coming here for some studio time. One worked in clay ten years ago and also did raku in Japan; the other woman was a ceramics teacher for twenty five years. Bet I can glean some clay tips from them; they said they've already gleaned some from me. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Love raku results but usually end up with a headache from the smoke even when I wear a mask. Not so much the last couple of times with a 'smoke free' technique. Is that a little angel there too? Look forward to seeing your results.

  2. Wow, your post takes me back, Linda. I did a lot of raku about twenty years ago. A bunch of us at my then co-op wanted to figure out the process. One of our members had a big raku kiln converted from an old large Skutt kiln. We got together about once a month for about a year. All this leading up to say that we fired flat pieces propped against a post. A small piece could be removed with tongs. For large pieces 2 pairs of tongs coordinated got them out and into a reduction barrel.

    BTW we used lots of protective equipment.

  3. It's really all just one big experiment isn't it? Have fun.

  4. Hey, I just told Michele, I have a raku firing to do next week too! Cooler weather calls for it I think. To pick up tiles in the the kiln I either set them on a short kiln post or set them vertically (make sure the edges are clean) and lean them against a kiln brick or post.
    I do think smoother pieces are better for crackle glazes but some of the matte glazes can look really cool with textured work. There are lots of glaze recipes for matte glazes if you google them. Have fun!

  5. your textures will look great in raku... jeff's textured lamps are really cool. as for the tiles.. we usually lean them against the wall of the kiln (edges and back are unglazed... sometime we rest things on top of other pots that have unglazed rims.

  6. It must be raku season, I'm doing one this weekend also. I think your textures will be great in raku, they often give you lots of interesting glaze results.

  7. BTW: I just love your textures...looking forward to the results. :)

  8. Hi Anna, thanks, yes that is an angel, trite, but folks like them.

    Hi Smartcats, thanks, oh I never thought of stacking it up on a post, what a good idea. Two pair of tongs. I only have one, so hopefully I can pick them up.

    Hi Dennis, thanks, yes one big experiment.

    Hi Tracey, thanks, oh another good idea setting them on a smaller kiln post or two; I've made some smooth pieces too, we shall see.

    Hi Michele, thanks, I guess in the raku kiln I can rest them agains the wall, another good idea, bet Jeff's lamps are beautiful.

    Hi Lori, thanks I guess I just haven't seen that much raku or wasn't paying attention till now.

    Hi Smartcat, thanks, I do like that nubby look to the top one I'll have to use that on more pieces.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment