Today was FANTASTIC! A group of 19 CCPS members and non members took part in another successful raku day, held at the great CCPS facilities in East Gosford. Pauline Ryan from Castle Hill potters presented an excellent demonstration of the Ikea pedal bin raku kiln. Afterwards we had the opportunity to fire some pots in the kilns.
The Ikea kiln, developed by Stefan Jakob, is attractive for its simplicity of construction and ease of use. Requiring only kindling as fuel, within half an hour 1000ºC is reached and half an hour later the pots are ready. We were running 2 kilns and fired each kiln approximately 5 times between 11:00am and 2:30pm. Most people reduced their pots in metal bins containing various combinations of newspaper, shredded paper and saw dust. Some also plunged their pots in water afterwards for cleaning and to retain colour.
We were most impressed with the ease at which the kiln operated and the speed at which it can function. Several people commented, "I had to see it to believe it". It was an inspirational day.
Of particular interest to many participants was the naked raku process of covering burnished pieces with white slip and glaze, then scratching back a design through the layers. Exposed areas turn black as well as crack lines in the glaze. After firing and reduction the glaze and slip are scraped off to reveal the final design. The following links provide further information http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNgFFilCiug and http://www.pitfire.com/naked_raku.htm
To see what we were up to check out the images below. Keep an eye on the website for more activities. Next year brings more interesting and inspiring events to fuel your imagination and add to your creative repertoire.
More information on the Ikea kiln and Stefan Jakob's 2008 Australian visit can be viewed
at http://www.strathnairn.asn.au/air/stefanJakob.php and http://www.canberrapotters.com.au/c_members_events2.html
Many thanks to Pauline Ryan and Marienne Stollery for an extremely successful, informative and enjoyable day.
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Central Coast Potters Society is a non-profit, community organisation of like-minded volunteers who love clay.