Ceramic artist, Betty Printy, has been conducting workshops on the firing of Raku pottery and producing Raku pottery for sale in her gallery in Bentonsport for the last ten years.
Raku is a process that dates back to 1573 A.D. in Japan. The process involves glazing bisque fired pieces using glazes containing high amounts of copper and other metallic salts. The pots are then fired to 1800 degrees F in a gas fired kiln. Upon reaching the maturity temperature of the glaze, the kiln is opened and the red hot vessels are removed using tongs for handling. The containers contain organic material such as paper, sawdust, leaves or dried grass clippings. This produces a reduction atmosphere in which the pots remain until partially cooled. Upon removal from the reduction containers, the pots are sprayed with cold water to further cool them. This process produces pottery that has beautiful metallic finishes that range from reds, greens, blues and shades of yellow. A great deal of variation can be produced by using various glazes and reduction materials.
Raku vase with cut-out pattern Raku vase
Raku Pottery Workshops are held at Iron & Lace on the first Saturday of May, July, and September. See the Workshops page for exact dates. Bisque fired pottery is available for purchase or students may bring their own. No experience is needed. Call to reserve a spot in the class of your choice. Workshops are limited to fifteen students. (Note: Raku glazes are not food safe. Pieces should not be used for cooking, drinking, or eating.)
Raku Vase with Flag (18" tall) Raku vase
Large and small Raku items