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Raku and Refiring Pottery: Is It Worth It?!

Raku and Refiring Pottery:  Is It Worth It?!

This week was filled with refiring a bunch of marginal pots and raku-ing my little wood-fired raku kiln to make raku totems!  Hear about other potters’ adventures at Mud Colony!

View from my pottery studio patio swing!  SWEET!!

View from my pottery studio patio swing! SWEET!!

Refiring Glazes:

I made the decision to refire some pots from the last firing.

It was either toss them and take a hammer to them or give it a go and see what the results were.  It’s a big exercise in futility if nothing looks better, but because my last firing didn’t reach temperature, I was pretty sure that I would be happy with SOME of the results and that was good enough for me!

The process was:

  • Select pieces that could benefit from a refire.
  • Make a thin solution of CMC and water-paintable.
  • Coat the pieces with CMC where you want to add new glaze.
  • Add new glaze to the CMC’d pots by dipping, spraying, trailing or simply painting.
  • Fire as usual!

In general, I was quite happy with the results.  The ones that STILL look ugly to me, will either go in the Seconds box or I will destroy them with the same glee that went into making them!  Sad, but true!

White with sprayed Iris, Cobalt blue and copper red glazes-High Fire Cone 10 Reduction

White with sprayed Iris, Cobalt blue and copper red glazes-High Fire Cone 10 Reduction

White with sprayed Iris, Cobalt blue and copper red glazes-High Fire Cone 10 Reduction

White with sprayed Iris, Cobalt blue and copper red glazes-High Fire Cone 10 Reduction

Cobalt Blue with Iris, Red, and Teal accents-High Fire Cone 10 Reduction

Cobalt Blue with Iris, Red, and Teal accents-High Fire Cone 10 Reduction

I’ve tried refiring before-here’s the post about that.

Wood-fired Raku Kiln:

I haven’t fired my little wood-fired raku kiln much-just lazy I suppose!  Here’s the previous post on building it!

So put it to the test and fired lots of little pieces for a totem.  Some came out good-others bad, but I did construct a totem!

Ronnie decided I needed a proper raku shed (code:  Get your raku stuff out of my barn!).  So he took the tractor and cleaned out an area and took the junk out of an old ramshackled silo!  So now I have a raku shed outside the barn, but still under cover.  It is a bit messy, smoky, and trashy!  But is it worth it?  Oh Yeah!

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Here’s some pics of the finished totem and one that is a work in progress.  Just a bit of fun to test out my raku glazes and the little kiln!

Finished Raku Totem

Finished Raku Totem

In-progress Raku Totem

In-progress Raku Totem

Got some nice raku colour!

Got some nice raku colour!

I also did a bit of throwing, slabbing, and making of test tiles.

Large thrown bowl

Large thrown bowl

A thrown ring of test tiles.

A thrown ring of test tiles.

Thrown pieces for raku totem

Thrown pieces for raku totem

Thrown Edge for Casserole

Thrown Edge for Casserole

Truly Southurst posted this on facebook and I LOVE it!  Something to remember as the week goes by!

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And, of course, cutey Samantha was there by my side!  My pottery buddy!

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Written by Marian Williams

4 Comments

  1. Adriana Christianson · June 20, 2013

    I want a RONNIE with a tractor !!! AND your shed, and studio , and WEATHER !
    Good weeks work Ms Marian !!! LOVE that raku totem !!
    When are YA’LL running WOODFIRED RAKU TOTEM workshops up there ??
    huh huh ?? xx

  2. Jayne Bawden · June 22, 2013

    I love the raku totem. Raku colours are awesome. I have never refired anything but have wanted to on many occasions. What is the stuff you paint on to get the glaze to stick? I need more information. Great work.

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