Introduction to Ceramics and Raku

Raku involves putting glazed pots into an outdoor kiln, allowing the glaze to melt and then cooling work rapidly by plunging it into cold water or allowing it to cool slowly in the air or in a range of organic materials including sawdust and seaweed.

On the first day you will learn basic ceramic techniques including hand building, slab-building, press moulding and throwing and have time to create a piece of work ready to bisque fire.

On the second day (the following week) you will learn about and undertake a raku firing to produce and decorate your work in a wide range of glaze effects and colours.

Course Content:

Day 1 – This course is split over two weekends, the first day will concentrate on making a piece of work ready to be bisc fired

  • Induction to the ceramics workshop rules and safety guidelines
  • Demonstration of how to hand build or press mould a variety of ceramic forms with tools / materials available
  • Development of skills, ideas and final pieces made ready for bisc firing
  • Technical support throughout

Day 2 – Glaze workshop and Raku firing

  • Retrieve bisc fired works from Day 1, which are now ready to glaze and fire in our ‘top hat’ RAKU kiln (a stock of bisc fired pots are available to buy if your piece did not survive – which sometimes happens)
  • An introduction to basic RAKU glazing will be followed by a glaze workshop
  • Glazed pieces are loaded into the kiln and the firing process begins. The Gas fired kiln will take approximately 1 hour to reach temperature (between 950 and 1050°c)
  • The work is then unloaded while the pieces are red hot and placed into dustbins of sawdust/leaves etc. or allowed to cool slowly in the air.
  • Wash finished pieces – ready to take away
  • Full technical direction and supervision throughout

Introduction to ceramics and raku– 2 day

Course Leader: Beth Bidwell
Places: 6 (Beginners +)
Cost: £75 ( The course costs cover tuition, basic materials and consumables)
Booking: Call 01464 861372 or email admin@ssw.org.uk

Dates running: This course takes place over two weekends (per course) in order to bisque fire work in between.
Course 1 dates
5th and 12th August 2018
Course 2 dates
29th September and 6th October 2018
Course 3 dates
24th and 31st March 2019

10am – 3pm

*Please note: Raku firings are outdoor therefore in severe weather conditions it may be necessary to reschedule the firing date.

Clay, glaze and firing costs are inclusive in the price. Stock bisc fired bowls are charged extra.

Additional Information:
Work clothes should be worn. Overalls and PPE masks are provided onsite. *Bring a packed lunch.

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