I spent the day yesterday at the home of Debbie and Joe Daley learning about raku firing. What an education! The day began at 10 am and didn't end until 5:30. I left tired and semi-pleased with my results but more prepared for the next time. The slide show below shows the steps we took to arrive at the finished pieces. First, the kiln was loaded and fired up, then the pottery was removed from the kiln shelves with tongs and carried to a metal container lined with sawdust. The heated clay body ignites the sawdust on contact and more sawdust is poured over the pot to encourage "flashing". The container is covered quickly to limit the amount of smoke in the air. After a short while, the pot is removed and put in a tub of water to cool and crackle, then it is washed off and the results are revealed. There were good surprises and bad ones, but what a great day we had.
The Daleys have seven goats who keep their field cleared. Above, they pose for a few photos.