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Building a Raku Kiln


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#41 Benzine

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 06:00 PM

No matter what combustibles I use (sawdust, pine needles, straw, leaves, etc) I always use a (at least) double layer of newspaper as a fairly smooth place for the pots. More newsprint on top. The bottom layers are for cushioning and prolonged combustion--the newsprint because I've found it to give the blackest blacks on unglazed clay. As John said, if you know your clay, glazes, and combustibles you can pretty much repeat the same results--at will. I have one particular glaze that gives sort of a white with blue overtones--blah. However, overfire it and you get a mauve tweed that looks good with basic black. Start with a small selection of glazes and see what happens at different temps and times. For heaven's sake, have some fun!


No worries about the fun part. I will indeed have some fun. If I didn't think I was going to, I wouldn't have taken the time to get all the kiln parts and put it together.

Can you get different results with the underglaze? I was the under impression that any exposed clay, or clay like material, like underglaze is stained black during the reduction.
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#42 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 11:39 PM

Yes, if you have a good reducing atmosphere in your container, all the unglazed surfaces should be black.
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#43 Benzine

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 08:54 AM

Yes, if you have a good reducing atmosphere in your container, all the unglazed surfaces should be black.
Marcia


That's what I thought. My students are all pretty underglaze happy, so I was planning on telling them, to not even bother for the Raku firing. At least now I know, that such a declaration is completely accurate.
Do oxides do anything interesting during the Raku process?
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#44 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 04:14 PM

I just fired a nice (IMHO)tile with underglaze using a thin clear raku glaze. I like it. It came out with a slight crackle effect wit un underglaze colors true to their color.
Marcia

#45 Benzine

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 07:32 PM

I just fired a nice (IMHO)tile with underglaze using a thin clear raku glaze. I like it. It came out with a slight crackle effect wit un underglaze colors true to their color.
Marcia


Interesting.

Do you think there is any chance that a normal low fire clear glaze would work? I swear I tried it in the past, but I don't recall the result.
I really like the crackle effect that Raku can offer. Is there a good way to obtain this, other than just using a glaze specifically formulated to crackle?
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#46 Benzine

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 06:12 PM

I'm putting the kiln together, cutting the fiber blanket and such. First, that blanket is indeed nasty stuff. I took precautions, in regards to my lungs and eyes, but even gloves and longs sleeves were not enough to prevent that stuff from poking though to my skin at times. It's like fiberglass insulation, if fiberglass insulation swore a vendetta against you, and everyone you care about.

Anyway, is there a preferred way to attach the buttons? It is very difficult to line the wire up, with the holes I drilled. Any suggestions?
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#47 Cass

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 06:28 PM

Posted Image

all of my work is clear crackle, commercial lowfire glaze...i dont underglaze, but i know it works

#48 Benzine

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:26 PM

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all of my work is clear crackle, commercial lowfire glaze...i dont underglaze, but i know it works


That's very nice.
What is the brand of clear crackle you buy?

The crackle effect is what first intrigued me about Raku.
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#49 Cass

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 10:49 PM

it's duncan SN 351

#50 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:55 PM

I know that the results with Raku are fairly unpredictable.


Actually American raku is FAR more controlable than most people think. The "haphazard" concept comes from people who really have not spent all that much time working with the process to learn TO control it. That is because it is so easy to just "have at it" and get pretty "flashy results" without having to really be in much control at all. Many folks don't get beyond this level of understanding, and unfortunately...... then go on to teach it to others from this basic level of understanding.

If you want to know about American raku control... look into books and workshops from people like Steven Branfman or Marcia Selsor. I had the pleasure of learing a bit about American raku from Paul Soldner back in the 70's. What he shared was not "haphazard" or unpredictable at all.

There are lots of effects that can be done repeatedly and relatively precisely. Back in the 70's when I was teaching at MassArt, I taught a course called "Fire Painted Clay", one component of which was utilizing raku as a finishing process. It involved using very tightly controlled American raku process....literally being able to "paint with fire".

And yes, particular combustibles do have a tendency to produce certain types of effects. You can use this as a part of learning control of the process. And as I say time and again..... test, test, test.

best,

................john

I fired my first raku with Paul Soldner back in 1967 in the snow!
Marcia




#51 Benzine

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 10:23 PM


I know that the results with Raku are fairly unpredictable.


Actually American raku is FAR more controlable than most people think. The "haphazard" concept comes from people who really have not spent all that much time working with the process to learn TO control it. That is because it is so easy to just "have at it" and get pretty "flashy results" without having to really be in much control at all. Many folks don't get beyond this level of understanding, and unfortunately...... then go on to teach it to others from this basic level of understanding.

If you want to know about American raku control... look into books and workshops from people like Steven Branfman or Marcia Selsor. I had the pleasure of learing a bit about American raku from Paul Soldner back in the 70's. What he shared was not "haphazard" or unpredictable at all.

There are lots of effects that can be done repeatedly and relatively precisely. Back in the 70's when I was teaching at MassArt, I taught a course called "Fire Painted Clay", one component of which was utilizing raku as a finishing process. It involved using very tightly controlled American raku process....literally being able to "paint with fire".

And yes, particular combustibles do have a tendency to produce certain types of effects. You can use this as a part of learning control of the process. And as I say time and again..... test, test, test.

best,

................john

I fired my first raku with Paul Soldner back in 1967 in the snow!
Marcia




Hey, my topic still lives. That's good, because I still need to post photos of my intake, to see if there are any improvements anyone can suggest.

I've actually been looking forward to doing another firing here soon. I've been waiting on some glazes I ordered, so I've just been twiddling my thumbs. It's a shame, because the weather here is supposed to be above average, which would make the firing slightly more comfortable for me.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"




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