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Maywood 3D Sculpture Students Create Pottery Pieces Using Raku Kilns

Maywood 3D Sculpture Students Create Pottery Pieces Using Raku Kilns

Posted by Elizabeth Egan on 13 March, 2018
Students at Maywood Middle School were treated to a lesson on how to create pottery pieces with raku kilns in early March. Raku, which originated around 450 years ago, is a traditional Japanese firing technique typically done outside. The colorful metal-based glazes get their color from the reduction oxidation process. When red-hot pottery pieces are taken out of the raku kiln they are transferred to sealable containers which have combustible materials inside (traditionally materials like pine needles or horse hair is used, but Maywood students used newsprint). The fire created from the materials eats up the oxygen as fuel, and sucks it out of the sealed container. This creates the variety of glaze colors. Even using the same glazes, no two raku pieces will look the same because of small changes in temperature. Raku glazes will continue to change over time. 

Students in Samantha Veraya’s 5th and 6th period 3D sculpture classes used slabs, a basic hand-building technique, to construct their pieces. 

Special thank you to the City of Issaquah for their grant to fund this project, and to Seattle Pottery Supply for coming out and offering this service for schools!