Each term at Stroud College my ceramic sculpture course holds a Raku firing. It’s a fast, direct, hands-on firing which can be done in a couple of hours and is always exciting and surprising. There is always a gasp of astonishment and awe as we open the yellow-hot kiln at around 1000 degrees C and carefully remove the glowing ceramics, then more excitement (carefully controlled!) as we place the pieces in sawdust which instantly combusts. Smoke, soot, flames, danger and then after it’s all cooled; some gorgeous irridescent colours and crackle glazes.
(images above Beth Whittaker)
And here are some of the finished pieces, cooled and scrubbed to reveal their colours from under the ash and charred sawdust.