The Norman Transcript

N-town stories

October 11, 2013

Fuego Friday event brings fire to fall

NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma’s School of Art and Art History is heating up the night with its 8th Annual Fuego Friday 7-10 p.m. Oct. 25 at the OU School of Art and Art History’s Ceramics Facilities, 401 E. Congress St.

Fuego, which means fire in Spanish, drives the event’s focus: heat. This year’s free event will mesmerize visitors’ sense of discovery watching how fire transforms glazed clay. In the past, Fuego Friday included an iron pour.

“This year, Fuego Friday offers OU students, faculty, staff and the Norman community a glimpse into our ceramics program,” said Jessica Upson with OU’s School of Art and Art History. “This is a wonderful opportunity to see what our students are up to.”

Upson said this year’s event invites visitors to watch ceramic demonstrations and kiln firing, which will include raku firing, a 2350 degree salt kiln firing, and a traditional pit fire.

Most firings take anywhere from 8 to 24 hours before pottery items are finished being fired and the cooling cycle may last another 12 to 24 hours. Finally, when finished the ceramic items are removed from the kiln and considered a finished product.

Raku firing was developed in Japan in the 16th century and the word “raku” means “joy” or “happiness.” For raku, the firing process may take as short as 15 to 20 minutes or up to several hours, depending on the piece. As a result, pre-made ceramic pots will be available for purchase, while supplies last, at Fuego Friday. Ceramic pots will range in cost from $15 to $30 a piece. Upson said those that wish to purchase pots should contact OU Professor Stuart Asprey at stuart@ou.edu before Oct. 25. Those that purchase pots will be able to take them home the night of the event.

“Visitors are encouraged to take a hands-on approach by glazing pre-made ceramic pots which will be fired and available to take home that evening,” Upson said.

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