Thursday, 9 August 2012

Building a little raku rocket

                             Last weekend I went to a fabulous raku kiln building workshop
                                          with Stefan Jakob and organised by the CSG.

                                                       What a great experience!

What a patient man Stefan is.
It would have been quite understandable if he had been totally frustrated
by us all trying to get our heads around building his (very clever) little kiln design.
Instead he just explained it as many times as he needed.

If you are a keen potter this is a workshop not to miss.
It is a great little kiln to add to the studio.

                                                         We met on Saturday at 9am

                           Stefan talked us through and demonstrated what we would be building


                                  Then we paired up so as to help each other hold and drill ect.
                                           I teamed up with this lovely lady  Irene Charnas
                         who I later found out lives a few doors down from my son ... small world

                                                       we measured our IKEA bins

                                                                          cut holes

                                                              drilled and fitted grates

                                                               drilled and fitted flues

Here I am sporting my name tag ..... complete with the phonetic spelling
(for all those who do a double take when they see my unusual name)

It is not 'SAD  HANA', please!
I am a very happy and optimistic person
SAD is not my middle name or my first name ;~P

It is pronounced 'SARD - a - na'
the A in "Sadh" is long and soft and it is said like an "AR" sound
and the H is silent..... easy....  Sardana = Sadhana :)


So back to kiln building....

          insulated the inside..........made tongs...........and presto.................a cute little raku kit

On Sunday we set all our shiny new kilns out ready to fire


Stefan demonstrated how he uses his glazes

                               Once we had glazed and loaded our work we launched our little rockets
                                           (Do you remember the puppet Mr Squiggle ?
                                      These little kilns remind me of Mr Squiggle's rocket .)

                                                                  reduction materials at the ready

                                                           The chimney changed colour ,
                   the fuel pile got smaller (it only took a milk crate of sticks to fire it to 1,000 degrees).
                   I can see that my back yard will get nicely cleaned up :)

             Within the hour the pots were cooked and thrown into the sawdust and dunked in water


                                                      Lots of people had great results

                                                              Here are my three...
                              quite happy but would like to aim for more colour next time.

                                                    Once we had finished and packed up
                        this mark on the gravel was the only evidence of our exciting weekend.

                               So now I am back to the studio to keep working for our exhibition                                                                          in our blood

  The kiln is glaze firing as we speak.

  Just got a nice delivery of raku clay and glaze materials yesterday...
  Been drawing tooo......
  Need to make more paper....
  Then some printing, collage and stitch.......
  OH....and also still more basketry to do.....
  EEEEEEeeek I must get off this computer!
  It's all systems GOooooooo!

                Don't forget to check out the Mud Colony for other exciting muddy adventures


  1. oh wow! I so wish I could do one of his workshops! Hope he comes out here again. Any reason for the lack of colour? Oh my neighbours would soon be wondering about all the smoke from my yard!! Thanks for such comprehensive explanation of the workshop :^)

  2. Wow! I know absolutely nothing about raku, but I'm so impressed by the photos! I want to make one too!!!

  3. Thanks Anna,
    He has been out before so I think it is highly likely he will come out again. The colour would have been different if I had used a lighter clay body or terra sig so I will try that next time.

  4. He travels the world giving these workshops Brenda.Contact him through his website and gather a group together.He may just love to come to you.

  5. GREAT photographic record Sadhana..
    of course WE all know how to pronounce yr name it !
    But really, thanks for the thorough report !

  6. What a great workshop, thanks for all the photos.

  7. How kind of you to share this in such detail, dear Sadhana! Thank you so much. L

  8. Oh may i ask. Did you put the pots on a kiln shelf on props inside??

    1. Yes Linda,a small kiln shelf and sometimes I use props to raise the pots up to fit around other pots. Sadhana