Visually it is fast and exciting, it’s hot and very smelly but if you like a combination of beer brewing and cheesy yeast it’s great!
Obvara is an ancient low firing technique from Eastern Europe, sometimes known also as Baltic Raku. This is a process for all the senses!
As with all Raku processes, it is not for the faint-hearted – the results are unpredictable and acceptance of imperfection is a must! (cracked pots!) but for those that survive in can be truly stunning.
Pieces of pottery are made and bisque before the evening’s final outdoor firing. Using a Raku kiln, pieces are fiercely heated to almost 1000C and then glowing orange are plunged first into a fermented brew before halting the process by dipping in cold water. The brew first burns ferociously on the pot surface, and in just a few seconds forms soft colours that impregnate the surface.
Patterns can be altered by varying the brew, burnishing the surface or adding colour through slips or surface texture. The patterns formed are totally random and can look mottled, spotty or even feathered.
For current students please note that in addition to the workshop fee, any items you make will be weighed and charged per 100g to cover the materials and firing costs.
Those not attending the studio can bring their own bisqueware (3 pieces, max dimensions 12cm diam. 20cm height). It is recommended that these are made from a strong white clay, can be slipped, burnishing can improve contrast and perhaps add texture (see images for helpful suggestions). For those unable to make their own pieces a selection of pots will be available to fire from the studio (3 pieces costing £12).
Please wear sensible closed footwear, long sleeves and no flowing clothing.
Alternatively, if you are interested in a regular weekly class please click HERE