The April Second Saturday will be our semi-annual RAKU event. Due to the popularity of the event, we will limit everyone to two pieces each (maximum).

Check in with Anne W. Bracker when you first arrive to get 2 ID cards (to identify your pots throughout the process).

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! Half of the proceeds goes to Bracker’s and half to you. Learn how the process works or just have fun glazing a pot you can take home with you that same day.

Cindy and David will be the firemasters for the day. MAKE SURE TO LISTEN TO THEM! 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 a selection of glazes, kilns, and reduction materials.

Glazes used for the Fall 2013 raku firing: AMACO Caribbean Blue, Spectrum Galaxy, Laguna Kingin Gold-Silver, Bracker’s Crackle White, Bracker’s Crusty Lusty, and a recipe to be announced later.

A variety of food will be available. Bracker’s typically grills something (like hotdogs, for example) and anyone 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.

If you enjoy yourself during our BYOB Raku event, you may choose to donate 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.

If this is your first time and you need help, look for someone wearing an
ASK ME sticker.
No sandals or flip-flop type shoes.
Long hair must be tied back.
The last kiln load goes in at 2:15.GET STARTED:
You will receive 2 ID cards (one card per pot). These cards will be used to identify your piece throughout the raku firing process.IF YOU HAVE YOUR OWN BISQUE:
Make sure the Glaze Assistant checks it before you start glazing (to verify it’s actually bisque). We also need to know the clay body you used to make your pot.IF YOU NEED A POT TO GLAZE:
Visit the Bisque Assistant to purchase a piece (typically priced between $3 and $5 each)
Once finished glazing, the Glaze Assistant will show you where to put your pot on the inside drying table. Make sure your index card is placed under your pot.
Listen for your name. A Firemaster (or their Assistant) will call your name when it’s time to load your pot in the kiln. There are a limited number of active roles during the each firing. Participants with pots in the kiln will fill those spots first. Our goal is to make sure everyone has an opportunity to learn and participate if they want to.
Follow the Firemaster’s directions throughout the firing.  The Firemaster is in charge of the kiln and the safety of everyone involved, so please listen carefully.
Make sure you know where your pot is located in the kiln. Pots look different after they’re fired.
Once the firing is completed, the Firemaster will direct the unloading of the kiln.
Everyone not involved with unloading that particular kiln load should stay outside of the chalk circle around the kiln.
Make sure you know which metal garbage can your pot goes into.
The Firemaster will let you know when your pot is ready to be removed from the garbage can (with raku tongs) and placed gently in the tub of water. After cooling briefly, scrub it clean with an SOS pad.