Come play with clay

Currently all classes for Session 6 (Oct 2017) are sold out.
Please check back the week of Oct 16th to see if classes have additional space.

Field Trips

Photo from a field trip.
Photo from a field trip.
Photo from a field trip.
Photo from a field trip.
Photo from a field trip.
Photo from a field trip.
Photo from a field trip.
Photo from a field trip.
Photo from a field trip.
Photo from a field trip.
Photo from a field trip.
Photo from a field trip.
Photo from a field trip.
Photo from a field trip.
Photo from a field trip.
Photo from a field trip.

Raku Field Trips

Raku is a Japanese glazing technique that involves firing a glazed pot in a hot kiln until the glaze has become red hot and melted, then placing the piece into in a metal bin filled with combustibles (such as straw, leaves and sawdust). This smokes the piece and causes the glaze to come out with ???

Every month—weather permitting—students are invited to take a Sunday raku field trip to the suburbs of Chicago. Field trips are day long events and include discussions about raku, glazing, and the firing of up to 3 pieces.

The location is just outside of Chicago (due to city codes regarding raku firing), so transportation must be arranged ahead of time. Everyone will meet at the studio [directions], and then leave in groups. The groups must be as large as 5 but no more than 10.

Students are encouraged to bring their own water, snacks and anything else they might need for a day outing. Students must bring their own pre-bisqued pieces for the raku fire, and will be able to take their finished pieces home with them that day.

Wood Fire Field Trips

The process of wood firing pottery originated thousands of years ago. It’s been used all over the world, and is currently undergoing something of a renaissance. Unlike pottery adorned with colored glazes, the surfaces of wood-fired ceramics depend on the natural colors of clay; the pots’ placement in the kiln; the texture and location of wadding—bits of clay or shell glued on the pots to keep them from sticking to the shelves; and the molten heat that marks the pieces with wood ash. Unlike pottery fired in a gas or electric kiln, wood firing is a lengthy, sometimes intense procedure, in which the process is as much a part of the final outcome as shaping the piece of pottery itself. By manipulating seemingly small variables—the number and size of the pieces of wood used to feed the fire, the frequency with which they’re shoved in the kiln, when and where plugs are pulled or doors are opened to allow in just the right amount of oxygen—the ceramicists hope to mark the pots with melting ash, the “glaze” of wood fire ceramists. The firing can take up to seven days, and it can take another five days for the kiln to cool enough to remove the finished work.