At PotteryDayz, every workshop is more than just a lesson—it's an experience. Among our myriad offerings, the 'Raku & Throwing Pots' day session, helmed by the accomplished ceramicist and artist, Richard Gibson, stands out as a favorite. Dive into the world of Raku firing and the magic of pot throwing, and discover why this is an experience you won't want to miss.
1. Raku Firing: Ancient Artistry Reimagined
Raku is a traditional Japanese pottery firing method. Unlike the slow process of conventional firing, Raku involves rapidly heating and cooling pottery, resulting in unique and mesmerizing finishes.
a. Creation: Begin by molding your pottery piece, whether a vase, bowl, or any form that calls to your inner artist.
b. First Firing: Once your pottery is shaped, it's bisque fired in a regular kiln, preparing it for the glazing and Raku process.
c. Glazing: Post bisque firing, apply a specialized Raku glaze. This glaze reacts dramatically to the rapid firing, creating the distinctive Raku finish.
d. Raku Firing: Your pottery is placed into an outdoor Raku kiln. In a matter of hours, the temperature soars, and the piece reaches its final form.
e. Post Firing: The pottery is removed from the kiln while still red-hot, then placed in a container with combustibles (like leaves or sawdust). The combustibles ignite, and the container is sealed. This "reduction" phase affects the glaze, leading to the stunning and unpredictable patterns Raku is famous for.
2. Throwing Pots: The Dance of Clay & Hands
Pot throwing is as much an art form as it is a therapeutic exercise.
a. Centering: Once you have a lump of clay on your wheel, the first task is to center it. With gentle, yet firm hands, shape the clay so it spins evenly.
b. Opening & Pulling: With the clay centered, press down in the middle, creating a well. Then, with fingers on both inside and outside, 'pull' the clay up and out, forming the walls of your pot.
c. Shaping: This is where your creativity shines! Shape the clay into a bowl, vase, mug, or any form you desire.
d. Trimming: Once your piece has slightly hardened (leather-hard), it's returned to the wheel for trimming. This step refines and finishes the base of your creation.
e. Drying & Firing: Let your masterpiece dry completely before it's fired in a kiln, solidifying its form.
3. Why the Raku & Throwing Pots Experience is Unmissable
a. Expert Guidance: Under the tutelage of Richard Gibson, an experienced ceramicist, you're not just learning—you're imbibing years of expertise and passion. His guidance ensures that you not only master the techniques but also understand the soul behind them.
b. Hands-on Experience: There's something innately satisfying about molding clay with your hands. Feeling it yield, shape, and form under your touch connects you to centuries of art and craft.
c. Unpredictable Beauty: The allure of Raku lies in its unpredictability. No two Raku pieces are identical, making every creation truly one-of-a-kind.
d. Therapeutic Retreat: Beyond the physical act of crafting, the day-long immersion offers a therapeutic retreat. The rhythmic movement of the wheel, the focus on the clay, and the magic of Raku firing—it's meditation for the soul.
e. Community Engagement: At PotteryDayz, you're not just attending a workshop; you're becoming part of a vibrant community. Sharing, learning, and creating alongside fellow enthusiasts amplifies the joy of the experience.
The 'Raku & Throwing Pots' day experience at PotteryDayz isn't just another pottery workshop—it's a journey through time, cultures, and self. With the expert guidance of Richard Gibson, you're not only learning a craft but also connecting with a tradition that has celebrated the earth, fire, and human touch for centuries.
Whether you're an experienced potter or someone looking for a unique, enriching experience, this workshop promises memories, skills, and beautiful pottery pieces to cherish. Join us at PotteryDayz and be a part of this mesmerizing dance of clay, fire, and artistry.