Gary's Third Pottery Blog
E. E. Cummings — 'The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.'
Gary's third pottery blog

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

RAKU party, the whole story














SO, my clay supplier is this family business 50 miles away in Syracuse called Clayscapes, and it is a family business and I guess they supply all of the hundreds of potters and pottery students in northern New York, and they are the NICEST people and they hosted a huge party for all of us yesterday, with 12 raku firings. I mean, food and drink and pottery and FIRE!
You usually fire your pottery slowly over at least a 24 hour hour heating and cooling process. Raku is heating your pot to 1800 degrees in 20-40 minutes, pulling it OUT and smoking it with paper in our case in a closed trash can, then quick cooling it in water. So, a 24 hour process becomes a fast one hour process of quick heating and cooling and FLAMES and smoke everywhere!
When I was in college I could run the kiln myself, but the Clayscapes guys handled the tongs and fire for us yesterday.
You can see my piece, although the pics are jumbled, freshly glazed then in the kiln then being pulled out red hot and smoked then cooled. It is a rough process and some people's break, my 2 did not and they look great (see below).
Then of course, down the street with Tom and Tommy and Carol to my favorite biker bar, Dinosaur BBQ for the, you know, salad....

9 comments:

Becky Jo said...

Looks like garbage cans full o fun. I love raku. In Tuscarora, we did the raku at night, so everything glowed. I got to handle the tongs to reload the arch kiln, but once was enough. :) VERY hot.

Anyway, your pots look awesome. It's a nice feeling when they don't break from the temp changes.

P.S. The turned up collar is ultra cool. ;)

Gary's third pottery blog said...

The collar was NOT planned, but thank you :)

Gordo said...

I would have thought the pots would explode in the water. Amazing. I love the glowing pots at they open the kiln and the results are great!

soubriquet said...

That looks like a great day!
Your pot are much bigger than I thought from the earlier pictures, even more wow factor! I've generally stuck with smaller things for raku, fearing that bang and pile of shards, but these are great.
Lovely copper patina.

Michéle Hastings said...

mmmmm.....FIRE! thanks for sharing your pics

Kimberly said...

Wow... Gary has such an exciting life. Mine is so boring!

cindy shake said...

LUCKY YOU!! I LOVE Raku... I'm not set up to put a Ruku kiln in where I live/work :o( but I can use my friends -just not as convenient!

I agree with soubriquet, I thought your pieces were smaller in the first post -great shot of you holding them! They are SO FAB!

Pauline said...

Oh I would love to do that some day, your Raku pots are awesome!!!

-Rob, Simple Circle Studios said...

Those pots look outstanding! It is always fun to play with fire. The only thing I don't like about raku is it isn't completely functional.

Me and Missus Tastycakes

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I am a part-time pottery instructor at Cornell University Pot Shop and a full-time studio potter and sculptor, married to superhawt Missus Tastycake.