We have been considering a monthly Raku Party (Raku & Fondue as a working title) for the fair weather months of early summer and early fall. Conceptually, it would probably be a late afternoon/dusk, invitation only event that would include a maximum of 5 couples...and might look something like this:
- Greeting on the covered front porch with an apron, a glass of wine (probably a chilled porcelain goblet), and your host/hostess.
- A short walk to the studio and outdoor kiln where each couple would be given basic instruction on how to apply raku glaze and handed a 6"x6" tile that is prepared/bisque-fired in advance of the party with the couple's first names stamped into the surface. There could be some other pieces available, but the idea is that everyone could get something glazed in less than 30 minutes.
- The freshly glazed tiles (and a few other pieces) would be loaded into the raku kiln as finished.
- Couples could do hand washing in the studio and then taken to the pond-side deck for a light sit-down dinner at bistro tables...appropriately decorated with flowers in raku pots.
- The family potter (the younger, MFA dude) would extend the time sitting around the tables with a demonstration of some sort plus an explaination of what the couples are about to witness when the raku kiln is opened and the post-reduction stuff begins.
- At temperature (roughly 45 minutes), couples would be seated at a safe distance from the kiln (with a goblet refill), the kiln opened and the host ceramic people (not the couples) would smoke up the place with the post-reduction process (meaning that people would be able to move around).
- Depending upon available time, pieces could be removed (again by staff), rinsed/cooled/cleaned, the results shared amond the couples, and then sent home with the couple (in return for the apron they used for the event).
OK...this is still at the brainstorming level, so what would you do to make the event more fun and/or a better experience for the couples? Should there be any sort of informal display of items to purchase in the studio? If we test this (for free) with close friends and it is successful, what would be a fair fee to charge a couple for the full date-night event? Safety is a major concern and we would take extra steps to keep visitors safe...are we missing something else that might bite (or burn) us?