Raku Pottery in the Courtyard

Carmen Hunderman, Contributor

On Thursday, April 21, Art 1 and AP Art participated in making Raku pottery, which is a type of traditional Japanese pottery primarily used in tea ceremonies. Alexia Elitzer was one of the students who participated in the pottery making during her Art 1 class. She explained that the process of Raku pottery was as follows:

  1. First mold the clay.
  2. Then add a paste and let the pottery harden for a day. 
  3. The pottery is later placed in a kiln at about 2,000 degrees until it gets an orange glow. 
  4. The pottery is later removed with tongs and placed in a newspaper.
  5. After being placed in the newspaper for about 5 minutes it is immediately placed in the water to cool it down.
  6. And voila! Your Raku pottery is done 

Mrs. Lakso, one of the art teachers, said this about the firing process. “It is a special kiln for raku. Raku must be brought to 1900 degrees, the glaze then melts, it’s put into a combustible material such as newspaper or straw, then covered to take the air away. The metals in the glazes such as copper are activated causing different effects that the kiln creates. Once the fire goes out the pieces are cooled in water. The whole process takes about 1/2 an hour vs 24-36 for regular ceramics.”

You also might be surprised to know that Bob Jones doesn’t have a working kiln. “We do not have a working kiln nor have we for 11 years. The ventilation does not work in what is supposed to be the kiln room either.” Our school art teachers borrowed the James Clemens kiln to do this activity.

A kiln can be used for ceramics and is essential to 3D art, so hopefully, a kiln purchase will be in the budget soon and Bob Jones students can enjoy activities like this more often.