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Raku, Pit & Barrel: Firing Techniques (Ceramic Arts Handbook)

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Raku, Pit & Barrel: Firing Techniques (Ceramic Arts Handbook) Paperback – October 1, 2007


Raku, pit and barrel firing are three of the most popular firing techniques in ceramics. Accessible to anyone involved in this expressive medium, the unifying theme of these three techniques is the ability to work directly with the fire to achieve both quick and unique results not available with more conventional firing techniques.
In Raku, Pit & Barrel: Firing Techniques you'll discover some of the most beautiful alternatively fired work, as well as extensive how-to techniques and step-by-step instructions to help you duplicate the processes in your own studio. Explore dozens of techniques and discover the many special effects available using these ancient firing methods. You'll love the experience of working with glowing red-hot pieces in a raku kiln, uncovering pots from a pit fire or peeling the aluminum foil off your latest saggar experiment.

The following is a small sampling of what you will find:
Where There's Smoke Frank Fisher knew that the most common reducing materials used for post-firing reduction were paper and sawdust. He wondered what would happen if you tried other materials, so he tested a few. See the results of his test and maybe you'll want to experiment with a few yourself.

Porta-Kiln Barrel Firing After attending a workshop on smoke firing, Martha Puckett began to experiment and loved the technique. She developed a technique for firing in a small barrel she can pull out whenever a pot is ready for her firing touch.

Karen Shapiro looks at the common objects around the house and sees The Art of Everyday Life. Her works include raku versions of milk containers, spice cans, bags of snacks and make up paraphernalia. Common items elevated to art.

What's a Raku Glaze? Steven Branfman answers this question in detail. It really amounts to almost anything can serve as a raku glaze it just depends on what effect you're looking for. Considered one of the foremost authorities on raku in the U.S., he provides his expertise on Raku Glazing giving tips and techniques gleaned from years of experience.

Horsehair Raku is a technique that has appeal. Applying horsehair is not a complicated process but there is a sequence that assures good results. Bob Hasselle describes his method and his work provides stunning results.

Another way to affect the surface of glowing raku ware is by Wrapping Raku Pots with Wire. Mark Gordon didn't know what inspired him to wrap wire around a piece, but after he did, he was on to something unique.

When we think of raku we mostly think of pots that will sit on a shelf. Barbara VanSickle shows you how Making a Raku Mural gives you a chance to explore making art for the walls. Her technique is complete from design to final mounting.

Jimmy Clark finds working with pit firing offers a Sense of Timelessness. His vessels are freely formed while resting on his lap or in sling molds made by loosely spanning a bucket or other round container. His peeled terra sigillata technique is just the beginning to subjecting pots to multiple firings.

If you want a Successful Barrel Firing, Paul Wandless provides all the direction you'll need. In this step-by-step technique, you'll find the best advice for each stage of the process from selecting the right clay to making the barrel and firing it.

John Martin discovered that using gold and opal lusters along with copper takes his work to a new level and he describes his process inEnhancing Raku with Lusters.

When Mark Richardson was looking for a quick way to fire 90 small covered jars with a crackled smoke decoration as part of a commission, he needed to speed up the process. His wire basket with a barbecue grill base and fencing did the trick for Peel-Away Slip in a Hurry.
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