Wednesday, March 9, 2011
CHS Advanced Ceramics students participated in a Raku firing. Raku ware is a type of traditional Japanese firing process. The glazed ware is removed from the kiln while the pieces are glowing hot and placed in a container consisting newspaper (or anything that burns, such as sawdust, straw, etc). Then the lid to the container is placed firmly back on creating a reduction atmosphere. Closing the can starves the air of oxygen after the combustible materials catch fire, forcing the reaction to pull oxygen from the glazes and the clay. A metallic effect is left behind on the glaze, the clay turns black, and a "one of a kind" piece of pottery is the result.
Twice a year, Ceramics students complete this firing process as their Final Project. This is a tradition of sorts started more than 15 years ago with the help of area potter Ralph Stuckman. CHS owns a portable kiln which is wheeled out into the parking lot for the firing. Every year its exciting to see the results of this traditional process.