This week we braved to weather, which was cold but still, to do our first raku firing of the year. It’s always exciting and unpredictable, hopefully in a good way. This time things started off really badly but we sorted the issues and re-fired the first couple of pieces. We also had a few breakages but you come to expect that it’s the nature of raku work.
Here are some leaves that have made it into my Etsy shop, I had a few customers waiting for new stock to arrive so they are going quite quickly.
I have restocked the small raku fish and there are a few larger fish as well, these ones have a lot of copper, the others are turquoise and blue.
I have a few moon gazing hares too, these would be great Easter gifts to let someone know you miss them.
Here’s a closer look.
The snowdrop trinket dishes and hearts that I showed you a few weeks ago are in the kiln now, I can’t wait to open it up but it’s still cooling down, patience pays off in the end.
I am watching things growing in the garden, soon the bluebells will be out, I have some pulmonaria flowering but no sign of the brunnera flowers yet. It’s going to be a busy time in a week or two, watch this space. I like working with the seasons.
I had a raku glaze firing this week and it reinforced my love for the raku process. What really gets me is no matter how many Raku firings I’ve done I always find something wonderful and unexpected, like each time is the first time.
I need new experiences in my craft and raku has a way of its own which fulfills that need. I do everything exactly the same as the previous time, same clay, same glaze, same temperature, same reduction bin process but results are rarely the same and there lies the wonderment and excitement for me.
So I started thinking about what could be different if I look deeper, glaze thickness could vary, rate of heating, air temperature when they come out of the kiln, combustible materials, temperature and amount of oxygen in the reduction bin.
Fish glazed the same way as 100’s before but this time some have a yellow green colours.There were a few new pieces too including cosmic hares and wrens. Also a few hearts and trinket dishes and pendants. And leaves of course. These have all made their way into my Etsy shop Kiln Fired Art. If you would like to see little videos of how the colours change in the light ( you just can’t capture this in a photo) then follow me on Instagram or Facebook.
It’s been a busy week, making new stock each day and now I am running out of drying space.
So what have I made besides the snowdrop ceramics featured in my last post?
There are raku fish, including the ever popular mackerel and sprats, also some tropical fish including clown fish. There’s raku hanging leaves and ceramic soap dishes and trinket dishes made from stoneware clay.
These all need to be left to dry before bisque firing, then they will be glazed and fired again so it will be a few weeks before they make it into my shops. I’ve no space left to make anything more so I can have a little rest and plan some new work.
The weather forecast was good so we decided it was time to fire the rest of my raku pieces. The morning was bright and crisp with a thick white frost crunching underfoot. The sheep in the adjacent field seemed reluctant to rise but eventually as the sun came over the fells they rose leaving bare patches where they had been lying. With a start like this I just knew it was going to be a good day.
We wrapped up warmly and once the sun came round to the garden it was the perfect day to raku.
There were leaves, lots of copper colour this time. I do wonder why you seem to get a lot of one colour effect in a firing but there are so many variables.
There were lots of fish.
This spotty one is rather textured, I thought of firing it again but I like it as it is.
Trinket dishes too.
Phases of the moon with moon gazing hares, these got snapped up when I made the last lot. I have some more but I’m waiting for some cord to arrive. Shout up if you want one as they aren’t on Etsy yet. I hope to have everything else listed in my shop by the time this blog post goes live.
Then I will get my notebook out and start planning for 2020. Changes are afoot for next year, but more later…….
P.S. I will have more work to add to my shop next week so come and have a look next Sunday and I’ll tell you about some of my plans for next year.
I had a raku firing last weekend, if you follow me on Facebook you will know already. I had a bin bag full of dry fallen leaves so I used those in the combustion bin. They crackled and sparked like a bonfire, and I am sure someone of the swirly iridescent colour was a result of using dried leaves but I can’t be sure. This leaf has some lovely swirly colours, which doesn’t usually happen this pronounced. This trinket dish has the swirly effect too, don’t you just love those colours?
I did some with sawdust to compare, but I think I will have to experiment a lot more to find out if dried leaves makes a difference to the colours. There were lots of fish. These are my favourite fish.
Some jewellery components.
There were some art tiles to hang on the wall. Also hares and moons, which sold out but I am busy making more this weekend.
Just a short post today; I have been taking things more slowly this past week, having said that I have a lot of clay work drying, I have a box of finished items that need listing in my Etsy shop, I’ve been sewing, and cooking for the freezer. So I haven’t been unproductive but I feel less frantic about getting everything done having given myself permission to slow down.
I have a bit of a plan, part of which is to get the raku stock made now rather than wait until people start Christmas shopping. It’s not much fun braving a dull cold and even rainy day to raku fire under the porch. I have a few more firing days planned in the next couple of weeks before the weather cools down.