Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The wonders of raku...

Well, here it is. My second attempt at home to try and raku. I am still learning the process and it is quite a pain in the rear, but fun also. You really need to document what you did and how you did it, just encase it actually turns out well and you want to try and reproduce it. BUT... and a big BUT, raku will not always turn out exactly the same from time to time.

So I loaded the kiln. You can see it in the pic above. I turned it on low for the 1st hour and then cranked it up to high for the 2nd hour. When it reached 1800 degrees, I cracked open the kiln with an old pot that I had and pulled out the cross. I then put into a metal bucket full of shredded paper and wood chips. The cross went up in flames which is kind of weird but in the end, it turned out OK. I needed to put the glaze on a little thicker next time. It was still cooling so I didn't take a pic.

Which now leads me to the second photo. This one is soooo nice. Exactly the idea that I had brewing. I made this clock with an open back so you can either hang it on the wall or sit it on a shelf. Once the kiln was cracked and starting to cool down, I pulled one clock out. Of course it cracked because it was sooo cold and windy out but I used it as a demo. I tried a couple of things but was discouraged. Then I decided to pull another clock (the last one) from its home in the hot kiln, I put it on the rim of the open kiln to stay warm. I started putting donkey tail hair on the clock and that is the squiggle lines you see. It actually burns into the clay.

Once it had cooled down considerably, I sprayed it with a chemical to give it the orange, yellow color. That also burns into the clay.

The donkey hair was donated by a donkey from one of my favorite places, Apple Hills. I bought some dried spices I have been in need for and had lunch by myself. I then talked to the owner, Joy. I asked her if I could have some donkey tail hair and of course her looked was priceless. She said "what in the world are you doing with that". Of course I explained that you use it in a raku process and she said she's very eager to see the outcome. Maybe if all goes well, with the next firing...I'll give her a clock.

I will most definitely be making more of these. I love this clock. It is going to look great in my bedroom!!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

This turned out really nice, Daniele! You are so clever!