The September Second Saturday will be our semi-annual RAKU event. Due to the popularity of the event, we will limit everyone to two pieces each.  Feel free to bring your own bisque-fired pot to glaze and fire.  Please keep in mind that the idea clay body for Raku contains grog.  If you bring a piece made from a non-grogged clay body PLEASE make sure you mark your id card as such so we can provide special attention to the firing of that piece.  Also, the ideal bisque temperature for Raku is ^08 or cooler.  We always have a limited quantity of bisque available for purchase, ranging from $2-$8, which you can then glaze, fire and then take home.  The Raku process does involve fire.  Please 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.

When you arrive, enter through the front door of Bracker’s, and check in with Anne W. Bracker to get an instruction page (or “flow chart”, detailing the path of your piece throughout the day) and two “Fire cards.”  These cards will stay with your pot throughout the firing process.  No pot will be fired without an accompanying fire card.  On the back of the instruction page, you will find a short survey.  Please help us improve our event by providing your opinions!  It’s completely anonymous.  🙂

Glazes used for Fall 2014 B’raku firing:

We will have several of old favorites out for use such as Bracker’s Crackle White, & Crusty Lusty, plus AMACO’s Red Crackle, Laguna’s Dynasty Blue & Spectrum’s Mars.

Additionally, we have something NEW AND EXCITING for you for this event!  We will have a fourth kiln set up, which will be dedicated to those who wish to do Naked Raku, Horsehair, and Marcia Selsor’s Obvara technique!  What is that, you may wonder?  Also known as “Baltic Raku,” this technique was recently featured in Pottery Making Illustrated (Sept/Oct 2014, page 13-15), pick up the latest copy for detailed information and images, or check out Marcia Selsor’s Webpage.  We’ll mix up “the brew” here in advance.  Smooth surfaced pots are best for this technique, so be thinking about applying terra sig or burnishing your pots if you want to try this technique.

B’Raku has become quite the potluck.  A variety of food is usually available. Bracker’s typically grills something (like hotdogs, for example) but beyond that, many people bring other yummy things to eat. Bringing food is not required, but it does add to the communal fun!

If you enjoy yourself during our BYOB Raku event, consider making a donate of a little cash (to thank your firemasters for their hard work and to offset the cost of propane) so we can continue to offer this free event. Look for the bright yellow donation cans.

Click here to learn a little about the history of Raku

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.
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