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Naked Raku! And Double Urns.

March 1, 2015

When I was on one of my placements in the autumn, I had my first go of Naked or resist Raku. Its a process whereby bisqued work has a slip and then a low fire glaze applied to the surface. Its then fired up to around 400-600 degrees in a raku kiln, or when the glaze begins to shine and melt (I don’t use cones, just keep an eye on what the glaze is doing!). Then it is taken out of the kiln and reduced in a sawdust atmosphere to achieve the mottled black and white surface; the clay goes black where there was no slip and glaze resist, and white with black mottling where the smoke crazes through the glaze, marking the clay body. I’ve used traditional raku techniques quite a bit before and its a process that I really love – its a fast firing and its so action packed and exciting; its about the only time you get to take really hot pieces straight from the kiln. These pieces are just tests at the moment but I’m going to have a few final pieces based on them I think!

Naked Raku Pieces

 

Unfortunately one of the rims on one piece broke as it was quenched in the water, but I still really like the pattern on it. I also tried burnishing one of the pieces, but I think the white clay body looks duller when its fully burnished, without adding much more of a shine or smooth texture. I also tried terracotta and it came out really well! The unglazed/slipped part has gone a gray/black/silvery colour which looks really nice in contrast to the deep red of the body.

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I’ve also been throwing some large urns in sections. I am happy with how they are going so far, but I’m still working on refining the form and turning them back better on the wheel before I slice them in half. This one is probably only just big enough for two (Small) people, but I’m working on another that is much bigger!

 

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I also had a formative assessment last week, which meant trudging all my work to another uni building up a million flights of stairs! But it was good to get out all of the work for this project so far and reflect on what I have made, what I need to do next, and how I can improve. Here’s the work so far, all of which is in the testing and experimental phase, but lots to go and work from! In the photo is a little sneak peak of some stackable pet urns I’m working on too!

 

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