You need a kiln, long tongs, long non-asbestos gloves and a suitable size
space in an open area outside to do a surface reduction on the pieces. A
sand pit is nice but garbage cans work if you can't have a sand pit.
I have used a number of burnables over the years. Rice hulls, newspaper,
pine needles, leaves, seed pods, fine saw dust and wood chips to name a
few... My least favorite is fine saw dust. It has some explosive qualities.
I like pine needles, but some of my students do not like the texture that
the pine needles can leave on the surface of the glaze.
I think that adds to the aesthetic in some instances myself, because the
burnable leaves its mark on the piece and becomes part of the piece.
The firing is done quite quickly so it is best to use a clay body which is
open so the pieces can withstand the thermal shock. A sculpture mix type
body which contains a lot of grog is a good choice but there are lots of
other clay bodies which will produce different effects.
There is so much that one could write about the subject.
There is nothing like opening up a kiln at night in the dark to see glowing
red hot pieces. It is a sight that never gets, "old" to see...It is always
a "wow" experience.
Studio One Art Center
At 02:39 PM 6/1/98 -0400, you wrote:
>> raku process is great for teaching basics and the student is intimately
>> involved in the complete process.
>I loved raku when I was in art school, but have forgotten the specifics.