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Raku Day

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Oh what fun! Some of you may know that I have a bit of a “thing” for ceramics. It’s something like horses… I started young and it has always been a part of me. Apparently my mud-pie days made a big impression.

Well, I have been sneaking over to the studio at Clayscapes and doing a little throwing. There will be some new hand- thrown pots with topiaries available at the Flower Show. Yay.

But that is not what this post is about. This post about Raku Day! The superb folks (Don Seymour and crew) at Clayscapes open the studio to the public for a wonderful event this time of year. Here how it all goes…

IMGP6546For a small fee ($7) you choose a vessel of some sort that has already been bisque fired.

IMGP6549Then the kind folks help you bring your ideas for that little pretty into being through glazing and surface design.

IMGP6543The outdoor low-fire kiln gets loaded with pieces.

IMGP6551After the kiln has reached the necessary temperature (maybe 15 to 20 min.) the lid is raised and the vessels are literally glowing hot.

IMGP6555If there is a crackle glaze, the surface is blown on to produce the crackle effect by cooling it more quickly.

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They are then placed into a fireproof container and combustible materials (straw in this case) are added to aid in the reduction of oxygen. This oxygen reduction creates the color in the glaze and the clay body itself.

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A toasty pull from the flaming garbage can, then a quick dip in water… and they are done! The water stops the chemical reaction of the glaze and fixes the color.

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The pieces still bubble and steam as they cool for handling.

Did I mention there was delicious food? And a gallery? I’m so thankful to have been introduced to this fun, creative group. They inspire me.

The kids had a blast. If you are nearby you should come next year for this event ~ or ~ check out the studio. There are lots of people who have never done ceramics before and the classes work with any level. It’s a very welcoming group. For more information visit their website.


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ABOUT

Hi, I'm Michelle. I am an artist/designer specializing in unique topiary themed illustrations for the Home & Gardener. I live on a farm in Upstate New York with my husband, aka Farmboy, my two children affectionately known as "La La" and "the Bean" and a small petting zoo of other family members.

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Philadelphia Flower Show
PA Convention Center
March 5th-13th
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