Thursday, January 8, 2009
I am friends with the Art Teacher at my school, so I got to join her Art Club. The first project that I've participated in was a Raku clay project. Raku is a Japanese form of clay and special firing. Raku means joy or happiness. We designed a piece (mine is a lotus flower) and let it dry. It is then pre-fired and left to sit for an amount of time. Then it is glazed; I used a combination of a light blue and a copper glaze. The pieces are then put into a kiln and fired until they are red hot. Then they are taken and put into bins that are filled with newspaper and sawdust. The paper and sawdust catch on fire and the lid is put onto the bin. They are left in the bin until they start to cool. The fire and oxidation process is how the color appears. The pieces are then taken and put under cool water. You have to brush the piece with a stiff bristle brush to remove the pieces of burned paper, so it is very much like unwrapping a gift to find what is inside. Every piece turns out differently. I had a blast doing this with the kids. Here are a couple of pictures of my flower.