The September Second Saturday will be our semi-annual RAKU event. Start making your pots now so you can get them bisque fired in time. Due to the popularity of the event, we will limit everyone to two pieces each (maximum). We will only have a limited amount of bisque that will be available to purchase (typically $5 or less per piece) on the day of the event.

Raku firing has a rich history, dating back to 16th century Japan. Today’s raku has changed to take advantage of gas firing as well as the materials

 readily available in the USA. Raku firing is a fast glaze firing (bisque firing first is necessary) that only takes 45 minutes to an hour. This fast firing time gives potters an opportunity to see nearly instantaneous results. Including the time to glaze a piece, fire it, put it in the reduction chamber (a garbage can with sawdust or other combustible material and a tight lid) and then clean it up from the post-firing reduction, you can see a finished piece in less than 2 hours.

Feel free to bring your own bisque-fired pot to glaze and fire. If you don’t have your own, a handful of generous potters have worked hard to create and bisque-fire some pots you can purchase from them for a few bucks each to glaze and fire to experience raku firing with us. If you love to make pots and want to bring extra bisque to sell, feel free to bring it with you! Learn how the process works or just have fun glazing a pot you can take home with you that same day.

Brackers staff members will be the firemasters for the day. Wear sturdy shoes (no sandals or other open-toed shoes) and if you have long hair, bring a rubber band or something to keep your hair secured. We’ll provide the glazes, kilns, and reduction materials.

A variety of food will be available. Bracker’s typically grills some hotdogs and even veggie kabobs and anyone who wants can bring other yummy things to eat. Bringing food is not required, but participants have turned this into such a fun potluck event by bringing chips, soda, potato salad, fruit, desserts, etc. and you’re welcome to bring something if you’d like.

We encourage any potters who have a little extra time to make a few additional pots out of any grogged clay (and bisque fire them) to bring to the raku day. You can sell them to people who don’t already have a piece to glaze and fire (we recommend $5 or less per piece; the proceeds are split 50/50 between the artist and Bracker’s, which helps offset some of the costs of the raku day).

Partial list of clay bodies that work well in raku:
* Flint Hills Raku (with 9% grog)
* Flint Hills 5/6 Buff with Grog (18% grog)

* Flint Hills Stoneware White with Grog (18% grog)
* Laguna B-Mix 5 with Grog
* Laguna B-Mix 10 with Grog

NOTE: grog in a clay body helps to reduce cracking & breaking due to thermal shock in a super-fast raku firing. It’s possible to successfully raku fire most other clay bodies, but you have to fire a lot slower than we’ll be firing during our Second Saturday event.

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We will also need a few assistants throughout the day (people who have been to a recent Second Saturday raku firing and have a little experience). 

Shift duties may include:

Bisque Assistant (3 shifts)

makes sure that anyone who brings extra bisque for sale has their pieces identified and priced, them helps people who want to buy a piece or two of bisque to pay for the bisque and put it in the correct envelope to ensure the artist who made the piece receives their money at the end of the raku event (or the next time they visit Bracker’s, if they can’t stay for the entire day).

Glazing Assistant (3 shifts)

makes sure that people don’t glaze the bottom of the pot, answers questions from inexperienced participants, makes sure brushes, water, etc. are available, and make sure pieces are correctly identified when they get placed on the drying table.

Assistant to the Firemaster (3 shifts for each Firemaster – total of 9 shifts)

makes sure that when a pot gets loaded into the kiln, the person who glazed the piece is present to participate in the firing of that load. Also acts to generally assist the Firemaster (keeping the Firemasters hydrated, etc.)

Floating Assistant/Traffic Monitor (3 shifts)

fills in and lends a hand with any of the above duties as necessary to keep the process flowing as smoothly as possible.

 

 

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