Naked Raku F12W05
Denis Licul and Emma Keiser
Saturday – Sunday, November 17-18, 10am – 4pm
Fee: $180 member; $200 non-member
In naked raku, the finished surface of a raku fired piece has no glaze. It is just a bare clay surface. There are several steps in the naked raku process. The bone-dry work is polished then bisque fired to a temperature between 1641°F and 1830°F. Next, parts of the bisqueware are covered first with a slip then a clear crackle glaze. The slip is used as a barrier between the clay surface and the glaze so that they will separate after firing. The piece is then low fired in the raku kiln. Once its surface starts to bubble and release gasses (usually between 1400°F and 1500°F), the pot is removed from the kiln and placed in a reduction chamber (metal bin) full of combustibles. After several minutes of reduction, the piece is pulled out from the bin, the slip/glaze layer peels off revealing a soft crackle finish stained into the surface. The pot is washed with water then allowed to dry. A coat of wax can be applied and the pot is then buffed to a high gloss.
In this special Raku workshop, you will learn how to burnish greenware to best prepare the surface for the naked raku process. The students will be given hands-on practice to prepare their own pieces with masking materials, slip and glaze resists. On Sunday, the firing cycle will be discussed and the students will have the opportunity to prepare the reduction bins and fire their works. Amazement will come when each ceramic piece gets “naked.” Please bring 5-8 medium size bisqued pieces (raku clay, porcelain or stoneware).
Emma Kieser has worked with clay for more than 10 years, exploring a variety of techniques that includes slabs, coils, pinching, and throwing, with a focus on painting and treatments of matt surfaces. Her works are decorative rather than functional, embracing organic and ancient forms. During her research and exploration of smoke firing, she discovered the naked raku process, which has now become a loving passion. Emma has experimented with naked raku techniques for more than four years, and had the fortunate opportunity to train with three highly recognized naked raku experts, David Roberts (England), Allyson May (Bloomington, Indiana), and Wally Asselberghs (Belgium). Emma enjoys the intense focus and challenge of sanding and burnishing her pieces to create a liquid smooth finish, then applying treatments that she will remove after firing to reveal the magic created by the smoke and fire. Emma and the fire are a team: she surrenders her primed pieces to the fire’s alchemy, and trusts that the final results will bring surprise and wonder. She is rarely disappointed.
Denis Licul is a Croatian ceramic artist and exhibits internationally. She received her BFA in Fine Arts from the University in Rijeka, Croatia.