Themes Raku Anagama or Crystallisation
Raku, Anagama or Crystalline firing
All objects are fired twice. The first time the raw clay is baked and it becomes biscuit. The pot is then hard but still porous (like flowerpots). After the first firing a thin layer of quarts with metal oxides is put on the pot. The object is then fired for the second time. Depending on the theme of the week that will be done in a Raku gaz kiln, an Anagama wood fired kiln or an electric kiln. Apart from the main theme of the week there is always a second theme, like a pitfire or Terre Vernissée. Here’s a short summary on the main themes.
In Raku-firing the red hot objects will be taken from the ceramic kiln to continue burning in a closed container. The thermic shock causes little cracks to form, the craquelé that makes every object unique. Raku is a traditional Japanese technique from 1600 BC.
Originally an Anagama is a huge kiln from 600 BC in which one year worth of pottery made by a Japanese potter was fired. These kilns were fired with lots and lots of wood. Our miniature Anagama is a smaller one in which 1.5 cubic m of wood reaches the right temperature in 15 hours. The fire that licks the pots and the ashes in the kiln vitrify and stain the clay. A very primitive but charming way of firing!
For Crystalline glazes a recipe with a lot of zinc-oxide is used. This glazing is melted on the object in an electric kiln at a temperature of 1275 degrees centigrade. Objects stay in the kiln for 30 hours, in a special atmosphere and under specific conditions concerning the viscosity. This makes the crystals grow. Every object is unique and has its own special crystals and colours. The prisms of the crystals are best seen in intense light. (Weather permitting a pitfire will be organised as a 2nd theme during this week.)
Two weeks in spring you can come and learn how to make a ceramiquilt: a quilt in which pieces of ceramics are used. In the mornings you throw pots and work on small pieces of ceramics, like buttons, curls, clay-tablets. Your clay ornaments will be fired halfway through the week to enable you to use them in your art-quilt, on which you will work for about an hour every afternoon. Diffent colours textile and various materials (jute, lace, felt and such) may be used to produce a top, which - together with batting and back - will be decorated by your ceramic pieces. Let the power of your imagination work on both clay and quilt and go home with pots and your own ceramiquilt.
is open to beginners and advanced throwers.