If you have ever done raku firing, you are probably aware that the raku firing process should not be used for pots that are intended to serve food. The rapid firing, removal of the ware at the red-heat stage, and subsequent post-firing all contribute to surfaces that remain porous after firing. So it is best for decorative pots or sculpture. If you are looking for another application for raku, today’s post just might be for you.
The Obvara technique, which originated in Eastern Europe around the 12th Century, involves scalding the finish on the pottery to seal the porous surface. Similar to the raku process, a bisqued pot is heated, in this case to 1650°F (899°C) and removed from the heat. The difference is that the pot is then dipped into a specific Obvara yeast mixture before being dunked in water to rapidly cool the piece. The effects are quite stunning.
In today’s post, an excerpt from her new video Raku Firing: Expanding the Potential of the Raku Kiln, Marcia Selsor shows how to enhance the effects of an Obvara firing by texturing the surface and then shows the exciting process.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
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In this installment of the Ceramic Arts Daily Presents video series, Marcia Selsor draws from her extensive experience with raku firing to show a variety of techniques that can easily be done in any raku kiln. She starts out with the basics of raku, covering equipment, safety, and suitable clays and glazes for the process. From there, she moves on to preparing pots for firing with a variety of decorative techniques. Finally, it’s time to play with fire! Marcia demonstrates four exciting post-firing techniques for the raku kiln: basic raku, horsehair and feather raku, saggar firing, and obvara. If you’ve been wanting to experiment with raku and other post-firing techniques, this video will get you off to a great start!
I participated in a raku firing (Western style) when I was an undergrad in one of Matt Long’s classes at Ohio University. It is no wonder raku is such a popular technique among potters and ceramic artists because what’s not to love about playing so directly with fire? But, like many ceramic techniques, it is extremely important to follow strict safety guidelines, not only to protect yourself from the open flame, but also the fumes that can damage your lungs. In today’s feature, ceramic artist and long-time raku practitioner Michael Lancaster shares some of the things he has learned over his many years of firing raku.
As Dana Bilello-Barrow was developing her voice and her skills with clay, she realized that she would often be disappointed by her post after glazing. What resonated with was the tactile connection she had with the raw clay so she decided to try to find ways to maintain that through the firing. Her solution was barrel firing. In today’s post, an excerpt from Naked Raku and Related Techniques, she shares a cool way to develop organic patterning on barrel fired posts.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Naked raku gets its racy name because during the process of firing, the outer shell of slip that was applied falls off revealing the “naked” surface of the pot underneath. Charlie and Linda Riggs get some beautiful results from this technique. Today, in an excerpt from our free download Successful Tips and Techniques for Raku Firing: How to Select Raku Clays, Glazes, Kilns and Combustibles, Charlie and Linda share their technique.
<p><p>&lt;p&gt;&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;&amp;amp;lt;p&amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;p&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;p&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;span style=”font-size: small; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;”&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;In &amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;em&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Raku, Pit &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; Barrel: Firing Techniques &amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/em&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;you’ll discover some of the most beautiful alternatively fired work, as&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;br /&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt; well as extensive how-to techniques and step-by-step instructions to help you duplicate the processes in your own studio. Explore dozens of techniques and discover the many special effects available using these ancient firing methods. You’ll love the experience of working with glowing red-hot pieces in a raku kiln, uncovering pots from a pit fire or peeling the aluminum foil off your latest saggar experiment.&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/span&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;gt;&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;&lt;/p&gt;</p></p>
This updated and revised Ceramic Arts Handbook edition of Advanced Raku Techniques contains information on forming, glazes and glazing, kiln construction and firing, as well as inspirational stories from some of the most influential raku artists working today. For any potter who has experienced the excitement and immediacy of the raku process, this book is a must.
Charlie and Linda Riggs began experimenting with saggar firing after being disappointed with the results of some of their pit firings. Today, the Riggs share their saggar firing process which they have tweaked and honed over the years. Enjoy!