Saturday, September 12, 2015


The method of Raku firing differs from other firing methods because the pots are removed from the kiln at their highest temperature.
Thermal shock of this swift cooling is taxing on the pottery. The penetrability of the clay body acts like a shock absorber, inhibiting the body from instantly fracturing when the pot is removed from the kiln.
Raku glazes are often cracked, which are referred to as Crazing. These crackle glazes are improved by the post-firing smoking of Raku pots that inserts carbon into the cracks of the glaze.
Raku is often associated with Zen Buddhism, and the Japanese Tea Ceremony.  It was developed in Japan in the 16th century.

The word Raku means "joy" or "happiness".
Pots are heated to 1800° F, the kiln is unsealed and each heated and glazed pot is removed with a pair of tongs.

The enormously hot pots are placed into 
 “cooling chambers filled with paper that, when the pots come into contact with the paper, produces thick black smoke. The carbon is sucked into the porous clay body, blackening the clay and highlighting the crackle pattern of the glaze.

When the pots have cooled, they are removed from the cooling chamber and sprayed with water.
The soot-covered pots are brushed clean to expose the unusual patterns created by this firing procedure.

Works Cited:
Post author Jordan Lynch


WELCOME! So you want to learn how to do marbling, well that is gonna be easy since you also already know the basic steps of slip casting! 

   ALRIGHT! Now let's see that list of all those most essential items to allow this DIY project to work. To start us off we will need the coloring compound. In this demo, I am using Mason brand stains. The colors are as follow: Celeste, Mango, and a color that is like this rad looking blue…. you’ll understand soon young padawan. Now snag some clay slip, a few dashes of water, and bottles to mix and pour the concoction out of. 

  Now pour some of the stain in the bottles and put 1 of those dashes of water in that I mentioned earlier. Cap the bottle and mix that puppy up.

  Now if you have done everything exactly like I have done you should end up with bottles that look like those. Great job at mimicking me so well. Now pour some of the slip in. You want to have a larger portion of the mix to be slip so when that dash was added of the water make sure it is not like 3 dashes, like come on. Just do a dash. One dash. Okay? 
Sorry, I got off track there. Once the slip is poured in mix them puppies up a lot more. If they were actually puppies by this point they would be very dizzy and possibly be experiencing motion sickness. Why would you put some poor puppies through such a thing? Alright, You already grabbed your flat plasterboard right? I said to grab it earlier. Trust me you don't have to go back and read anything…
Okay so now with your bottles of colorful slip dribble it all over the board. Keeping in mind the first bit of clay to hit the surface will be the main color in that spot and so on and so on. 
Wow, check out the random blue color I still can't recall the name of! Looks so neat. Looks lonely too, he needs friends. Let him have friends won't you?
Friends. Friends. Friends. He has finally received the love he has missed. Keep adding color! Yea! Splish! Splash! SO MUCH FUN RIGHT!?
Okay so now you get it right? Coat it entirely in the color and then pick up the slab tilting it around to let the colors drip and smear allowing for cool effects to befall you. 
We get it… tilt and smear. Drip and drop. Etcetera, and etcetera…

  Sweet Gobbledygook, WHEN WILL IT END?

Okay so now is the part where I admit I may have skipped a couple of photo ops… well, This is what happens. Basically, you wait for it to seem kinda like that of leather hard clay and can peel it up with a soft rib. It's rather difficult to get up all in one piece. Expect to peel off a puzzle of marbled pieces. With these, I need you to run as fast as possible to the slip casting room and grab a... 

mold. Good job, you ran really fast. Trust me I was watching.
   Now start placing the pieces all about the walls of the mold. Using a sponge to slightly moisten the pieces to make ‘em stick. Great job Dude! You are doing great! You almost have all the steps to make that awesome vase or other object go your desire! 

  Treating it like any other slip cast object, you’ve poured the slip out after your personal desired time to make whatever thickness of the piece you want. You can choose the time because you are a person and have the free will to do so. Now once it is out you can treat it like any other piece. Bisque fire it and then glaze it as you see fit.
   You'll end up with pieces like the ones below all these words I have typed up here. You can also use this technique directly onto pieces and let the colors set as the topping. It works just as well however be careful about the clay bodies you use. As seen in some of these photos it is prone to cracking if the stain content it high and the slip content isn't nearly as high. However, it causes this amazing chipping occurrence.

   Thanks for reading my Blog! Now go into the woods and practice this ancient teaching and let it flow through you, my great warrior child, you have been chosen. Spread the knowledge of this power, because knowledge is power and power drives the man mad and the man drives a slightly used Honda civic that he bought from his uncle. Plus that uncle is still expecting those past 2 months worth of payment. So where's his money, Tony? Eh?
   Sorry if I trailed off there! Have a great day!

 Post author Mathew Karay

Ceramic Crayons

Glaze crayons are just another way of applying a colorful design to your bisque ware, and to make them there are a couple different ways of mixing them.

1. Start by combining together 50 grams of OM4 Ball clay, 25 grams of Potash Feldspar, 25 grams of silica, 5% Bentonite, and 15-20 grams of the chosen colorant stain depending on its intensity.


Combine 15-20 grams of colorant/stain with about 40% of Gerstley Borate.
Gerstley Borate is meant to allow the colorant to stick to the bisque ware and its used in place of the above powder mixture.

2. heat up a in a metal container a half block of bees wax.

3. Once the wax has melted, stir in the powder mixture and 30% stand oil

 4. Prepare a straw with masking tape at one end OR use a mold to shape the crayon.

5. When the mixture has heated to a liquid consistency either pour into the straw or into the mold.

  Keep the straw upright until the crayon solidifies.

6. You could place the mold in a freezer to speed up the cooling process

7. Once cool enough carefully slice open the straw with an X-acto knife to extract the crayon

OR remove the crayon from the mold.

The crayon won't mark well if its too warm.

This is the result of the crayon marking and a clear glaze over the crayon.

There was very little difference between the Gerstley Borate and the other powder recipe, both worked well.

Post Written by Kim Davies