Monday, May 2, 2016, the AAG Sculptor’s Group will meet at Paradise Valley Community College, 18401 N 32nd St for a hands-on Raku Night event in the Ceramics Studio. All AAG members may attend. Must arrive by 7:15pm to glaze a ceramic piece made by David Bradley. RSVP by calling 602 828 4713.
The Raku process was invented in Japan in the 15thc to make ceramics to be used in the Tea Ceremony that fit with the aesthetic of Zen Buddhism. Today’s Raku process retains the organic aspect of the original Japanese style Raku but has added metallic effects that bring exciting appearances to the ceramic pieces.
Bisque fired ceramics will be glazed with glazes designed to react to the fast process. After complete drying out from the glaze, the pieces are placed into a hot ceramic kiln and fired quickly to temperatures above 1800 degrees. In as little as 20 minutes, the pieces are removed from the kiln with tongs and placed in a container with newspaper and sawdust and a lid put over to cut off oxygen. The oxygen poor atmosphere for the burning paper and wood draws the oxygen out of the glaze, causing the exciting metallic effects Raku is known for. After 20 minutes of cooling the pieces are revealed.