Raku Pottery: Worth the Wait

Raku pottery

Raku pottery

Pat Bender

Happy Potters finally headed to Farmers Branch on May 30, for their off-site raku class given by Conor Muldoon. The class was cancelled two times due to the COVID-19 shut down.

The delay was worth the wait, as we once again opened the trash cans full of our raku pieces. The magic of copper-coated bowls, vases with flower accents, and wall plaques were shining with a bright metallic finish. Turquoise tones of the lapis and northern lights glaze were found on plates, oval bowls, and vessels.

The magic of raku happens when the heated vessel is placed in a trash can filled with straw, saw dust, and colored coated paper. After the vessel has cooled, a cold-water wash exposes the bright metallic copper and blue colors.

Horse hair raku is created with the application of horse hair to the heated vessel. The tall vessels coated with white under glaze, have smoke patterns burned into the pot. Some potters also add feathers or turquoise glaze to the inside or rims of the piece. The black lines of the horse hair along with the turquoise glaze bring color and depth to the inside of the piece.

The pottery members attending the class were Carol Culkin, Cliff Gilbert, Denise Goddard, Robert Goddard, Jackie Graham, Mimi Mancuso, Lorie Shaddix, Carol Stoltz, Lucy Ventura, Marlene Womack, and Pat Bender.

The next time you are taking your morning walk, come by the CATC to view the raku pieces in the pottery display window. You will see copper crosses, pumpkins, bowls, and flowers. The other shelves display the many beautiful black and white pieces, some with turquoise accents on the horse hair raku. I think once you view the window, you will agree, it was worth the wait!