Raku Firing Produces Stunning Results
On Wednesday 15th May, the Art Department once again set up a Raku firing kiln outside the Art building, so that Senior School and Sixth Form artists could have their work put through the blazing hot, specially constructed furnace.
Raku firing is a centuries old Japanese method of firing which involves pots being removed from the kiln at 1000 degrees and then placed in bins full of combustible materials, producing unique and unpredictable qualities to the work. By placing the pots in a reduced atmosphere that is starved of oxygen, the flames draw oxygen out of the copper oxide in the glaze mixture to give a beautiful range of colours and effects. The pots are enhanced by the smoke from the combustible materials post firing. Once cooled, the grit and smoke is scrubbed off, revealing a stunning crackling effect in the surface and beautiful colours, as you can see in the resulting artwork below.
Raku firing provides pupils with a fantastic opportunity to try out a different and exciting technique which is usually offered at university rather than in schools, so it is fantastic for our pupil artists to learn and be inspired by new methods at this stage.