the clayrooms at wildhive

Raku Clay Firing

Raku Clay Firing Day

Bonfire Raku - Saturday 4th November  4.30pm-9pm

Join the team from The ClayRooms Pottery in Ashbourne for an exciting Raku firing day at Wildhive.

You will be provided with 3 pots to decorate. They are then fired in the outdoor kiln and quickly cooled so you can take them home with you on the day! A brilliant day full of drama and ceramic fun.

Lunch is included on the 29th and 30th July and supper on the 4th November.

£100 per person to include all materials, lunch or supper.

Raku Pottery

The Raku pottery tradition originated in Japan in the 16th century. In its original Japanese form Raku pottery was typically hand-built and used to make tea bowls. These are small semi-porous drinking vessels used in a Japanese tea ceremony.

Raku is a low fire process, reaching around 1830°f (1000°c) at its highest temperature.

In the Japanese Raku firing, the pottery was removed when hot and traditionally allowed to cool in the open air. However, over the years the raku pottery technique has changed.  For example, modern potters have a number of ways of cooling down the red-hot pottery once removed from the kiln. One approach is to plunge the hot ceramics into water. Another is to put the pottery into a barrel or pile of combustible material such as sawdust, straw, or paper to rapidly cool it. The reason for this is to starve the pot of oxygen, which gives the glaze a wonderful variety of colours. Areas with no glaze on them take the oxygen from the clay itself, meaning some areas will have a matte black colouring. Raku differs from normal firing, where the piece is removed from the kiln after it’s cooled down slowly.

For potters, it’s an incredibly exciting technique, as there’s always the anticipation of how each piece may turn out with so many different variables.