Raku Experience

This workshop provides a wonderful opportunity for a hands-on taster experience with Raku firing.

Raku is an exciting and instinctive rapid firing process, an ancient Japanese style of pottery where ceramic vessels are rapidly fired to 1000◦C. Taken from the kiln glowing red hot the pots are placed into organic matter and starved of oxygen to create vibrant colours and surface effects within the glaze and clay.

In the mid-20th century the process was modernised and moved away from traditional wood fired kilns to gas fired kilns. This is a highly unpredictable process which is always enthralling and filled with fun.

With a mixture of nervous excitement and thrilling anticipation the rewards can be great, producing spectacular and unique results with every piece. It is impossible for even a seasoned Raku potter to predict a result or be a perfectionist!

Cellan will guide you through the process of glazing and Raku firing up to 3 pieces.

Each firing can take up to an hour, depending hugely on the weather conditions, affected by wind, humidity and temperature. The risk of thermal shock adds to the intensity, this means that pieces need to be carefully thought through, walls must not be too thin and joints can add points of weakness. Flat items such as trinket dishes or tiles are notorious for cracking and best avoided!

Using glazes, resists and oxides can give further interest to a finished vessel. Burnishing and carbonising non-coloured areas adds contrast and texture.

The risks, anticipation and thrill of removing glowing pieces from the kiln adds to the extraordinary excitement surrounding this technique!

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 diameter, 20cm height). We recommend using a strong white clay, slipping and burnishing and texture can improve contrast (see images for helpful suggestions). For those unable to make their own pieces a selection of bisqued pots will be available to purchase (£5 per item).

Raku Experience workshops run from 9.30am – 1pm (approx.).

The cost for those attending includes refreshments.

If you prefer a longer Raku experience, we also run a full day of Raku. Please click HERE for details.

Alternatively, if you are interested in a regular weekly class please click HERE

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