At The Enrichment Center, our pottery is fired with electric kilns. This gives us shiny, bright and even surfaces. IT is a reliable process that produces good results. However, there are many different types of firing processes. We are beginning to expand our knowledge on these processes and different surfaces. We started with a Raku workshop by Erin Younge at the North Carolina Pottery Center. Raku is the process of firing at a low temporature and removing the pieces of pottery while the kiln is still hot. The pottery cools rapidly and is placed in a container of combustible material (sawdust, pine straw, newspaper, etc.). This can create abstract, metallic, and crackled looks.
During our workshop with Erin, the pottery was taken out hot and put under a tin barrel with pine straw, newspaper and saw dust. It was an exciting process that created a small camp style fire. The pottery classes enjoyed seeing the process and transformation of the pottery. Students noticed how different the pieces looked from our normal electric fired pottery and many were interested in continuing to explore with other techniques!