The Academy Center of the Arts partnered with Brett Thomas of Mobile Raku to offer a workshop about the unique process of raku. The students who enrolled in the workshop received a 25-pound bag of raku clay, with which they created stunning pieces by throwing on a pottery wheel and by hand building. The raku process is a low-fire method in which the clay is quickly heated in a kiln until the glaze has melted. The clay is then immediately transferred to a container filled with combustible material for the post-firing phase. This immersion beautifully affects the final outcome of the glaze and the raw clay. Normally, the firing process takes around 36 hours from firing up the kiln to cool down. With raku, the firing process only takes thirty minutes, from placing the clay in the kiln to dousing the pieces with water. The pieces sit in the kiln only until the glaze melts, which takes less than one hour. The beautiful glazes that Brett Thomas provided require about twenty minutes to melt in the kiln. Next, the fired clay spends about ten minutes in the post-firing containers. When that time is up, the pieces are then carefully transferred […]
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