There’s no smoke without fire.Posted: May 21, 2013
The raku firing process. This process is a lot quicker than using an electric kiln and also a lot cheaper to set up, it is also more fun. We used this method to decorate the pinhole camera boxes. The glazes used are a white crackle which contains tin and a copper which becomes iridescent when put into a reduction style environment. The black that is visible in the final picture is the clay that was left unglazed. The ceramic pieces are placed in the kiln and the gas is turned on, this heats to a high temperature very quickly and the average firing time is about twenty minutes. When the gas burners are switched off is determined by looking into the kiln at the glaze, it has a certain shine to it when it is fired to the right temperature. The gas is then turned off and, using prongs, the work is lifted out of the kiln and into a bin of sawdust. this causes fire and a reductive atmosphere where the copper can reach its full potential. The smoking bin is left for another twenty minutes before the ceramic pieces are dunked into a bucket of water to cool them quickly and stop the process the glazes undertake. The final image shows my pinhole camera after the process of raku. I have used both the tin and copper glazes and left the ceramic unglazed. This is important for the inside as that is where it needs to be darkest. The camera is also a part of an instillation piece created by all the students.