What is the course about?
This course introduces learners to the raku firing process which is a low fire process. In raku, pottery is removed from the kiln when red hot.¿It is cooled rapidly, often in combustible material like sawdust or paper.¿Raku can be a very volatile and exciting firing process and produce work with a beautiful lustrous finish or a traditional ‘crackle’ glaze and learners will be able to craft a range of work and select a limited number of items for raku firing on the final session.
Is a pre-enrolment interview or assessment required for this course?
What level is the course and do I require particular skills, experience or prior qualifications?
Suitable for all levels, ideally for those with some basic hand building or wheel throwing skills. Whilst no prior knowledge of pottery is required to attend this course some basic crafting experience will help.
Total beginners will be shown some basic hand building techniques and learners who can already use wheel-throwing techniques can use this to craft work, but this is not a wheel throwing course.
What topics does the course cover?
The course is for those who would like to experience the exciting and sometimes dangerous raku process in a safe and controlled environment.
- You will be taught how to prepare clay specifically for raku purposes, why this is so, and a brief background on the raku process.
- Total beginners will be taught some basic hand building techniques such as pinching, coiling and soft slabbing.
- Learners who have experience in wheel throwing can throw work to be raku fired and the work made will be aimed at the more traditional raku items that are related to the tea ceremony.
- Learners will be guided through some glazing techniques and given the opportunity to observe and where applicable take part in the firing process on the last session.
Note: There will be a series firing, that will only take part on the final session. if there is any other work made that cannot fit into the raku firings, this can be glazed in the usual more traditional glazing techniques and fired in a traditional reduction or oxidised firing process. There will be a limit on size and number of crafted items.
How will I be taught and assessed?
Learners will receive feedback on progress from the tutor on a regular basis. At the end of the course learners will assess their individual progress and progression with the tutor.
Are there any other costs or equipment I need to get?
All equipment, decoration and glaze materials are included, we do make a small charge (priced per kilo) for the clay used before the first firing only.
By the end of the course what should I be able to do?
By the end of the course learners will be able to independently use basic hand building techniques and enhance completed work with surface decoration and/or glazing. Learners will have experience and understanding of the raku process.
What are the progression opportunities following this course?
You can develop your skills further on one of our specialist ceramics short courses in the daytime or evening, or take an accredited course starting in September.