Participants will make and glaze pots, before taking part in the firing of the hand built kiln.
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Raku is a hands-on pottery making process.
Raku is an old Japanese technique which invlolves making small tea bowls, urn shape vessels and sculptural pieces. We will use coarse cream coloured clay similar to stone ware. Various techniques such as throwing on the potter's wheel, coil pots and hand building will be taught. Participants will be able to make between 4 and 8 pieces during the day.
We will first glaze our pots and then fire the kiln. Wood is fed into the fire box until the chamber reaches 1000 degrees centigrade. Pieces are then fed into the kiln using long tongs. They are left for up to 10 minutes. You will watch the glazes melt then remove your glowing orange hot item from the chamber. Still using the tongs, you will then immerse it in sawdust which will burst into flame. Minutes later your piece will be cool and ready for use and admiration.
The course will be presented by Des Johnson. Des studied ceramics at college. During his course he developed a passion for throwing on the potter's wheel and designing, building and firing with wood burning kilns.
Over the the last 20 years, Des has worked out of his studio in Wickham. He has designed and built a series of wood fired kilns, the latest being a 56 cubic foot stoneware kiln with a 14 foot chimney, which he regularly fires to 1300 centigrade.
Des enjoys making tea pots and experimenting with wood fired glazes. He sells his pots both from home and at local craft fairs. He lives in Locks Heath with his wife and three young children. He divides his time between his family, working as a nurse and pottery.
A 2-day course, in 2 parts
Course 1 -Saturdays 11th June and 25th June