The Norman Transcript

N-town stories

October 11, 2013

Fuego Friday event brings fire to fall

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Proceeds from pottery sales at the event will benefit the Red Clay Faction, a student organization that also helped organize and participate in the event. The proceeds will be used by the student organization to assist students’ travel to the National Council for the Education for Ceramic Arts annual conference in Milwaukee, Wis., this spring.

Raku firing is different from other firing methods because ceramic items are removed from the kiln at its maximum temperature during the raku process. Glaze maturity is judged by the eye and without the use of measuring devices, as in other processes.

Once pieces have been removed at its maximum temperature, it induces the pieces to go into a thermal shock so an open clay body and porous materials act as a shock-absorber. Now, traditional and contemporary raku firing differ in technique and treatment once the ware is pulled from the kiln.

Most western techniques take the ware and place it in a container with a combustible material like sawdust to create a smoky atmosphere. The result is a unique crackled, sometimes metallic looking surface. Most raku fired pieces are associated with Zen Buddhism, Japanese Tea Ceremonies and cultural traditions. After the process is complete, most wares are washed to remove soot and ash.

Other kiln techniques include the salt kiln firing. Salt kiln firing is a “vapor-glazing process” where salt is introduced in the kiln firebox at a high temperature. The salt evaporates creating fun and interesting details on ceramics.

For more information on the OU School of Art and Art History visit art.ou.edu. For directions or special accommodations call 405-325-2691 or email art@ou.edu.

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