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How To Make Raku’d Balloon Bowls!

How To Make Raku’d Balloon Bowls!

I decided for my contribution to the exhibition entitled Fragility at Sheoak Gallery at Fingal to do Raku’d Balloon Bowls and Garden Totems.


So I set about making Balloon Bowls and Garden Totems.

While talking to my bestie, Judith Wagenseller from OKC, Oklahoma, USA, I discovered that I should share my instructions for making these Balloon Bowls as they are quite fun, a good class project and look awesome raku’d.

First of all, I must give credit to Tea Tree Studios, Anna Couper and Angela Walford for the great inspiration and their process photos that I saw on Facebook!

The Balloon Bowls require the acquisition of certain pottery making skills, so would make a great class project:

  • rolling a slab
  • texturing a slab
  • making slip
  • applying slip
  • making joins of clay edges
  • use of oxides

– Quite a lot of stuff in one project, but I encourage you to try it!

Here is a pictorial tutorial of how I made them:



Judith and daughter, Hattie, set about making their Balloon Bowls and these are some pics of their process and results – pretty great!!!  I love their cat in the photos – he’s soooo into pottery!!!

Raku, Balloon Bowls

Oscar is ready to help Judith and Hattie with their Balloon Bowls.

Raku, Balloon Bowls

Oscar seems a bit bored with the project, but Judith is loving it!

Raku, Balloon Bowls

Judith and Hattie’s Raku’d Balloon Bowls! Muy Excellente’!!

Written by Marian Williams


  1. virginia kay bitter · December 6, 2014

    Gorgeous Marian.

  2. R Coles · May 30, 2016

    There seems to be a whole section missing from the tutorial on how to make raku’d balloon bowls as it moves straight from Dry the balloons with the tied end placed in the cup – you want the bowls to have a round bottom.’ to ‘The Final Product’. Have I missed something?

    • Marian Williams · June 3, 2016

      Hi, thanks for reading and commenting. Actually, that is about it, but you will need to let it dry and the balloon will need to be pulled out – it will lose air gradually, but if you want to prick the balloon at the tie, then it will lose air gradually. However, don’t prick the balloon until it is almost leather hard. Hope that helps!
      All the best,

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