Tag Archives: Raku

Raku U, an art event for my community

Yesterday was Raku U at Art 4 U Day, one of the many events taking place this year at the Port Moody Festival of the Arts. We had our usual spot in the parking lot behind the Port Moody Arts Centre. Our town is designated the City of the Arts and we do not disappoint. This was also a fundraiser for the Ceramics Department. Night before last, I was concerned because a wind warning is in effect. Also, though I slept right through it, we evidently had two thundering downpours. Luckily, when I arrived at the arts centre for setup at 9 a.m., the heavens smiled on us. It didn’t start raining heavily till later on. Yes, people got wet, but we’re part geoduck here. While rain doesn’t bother us much, a respite early in the day was helpful, as we zoomed back and forth with trolleys and tables, setting up our various events. Ceramics was among the mediums represented. There was a stage for music, a catering truck, and things were hopping inside and outside the art centre. When I returned to help ‘strike set,’ I got there a little early so I could take these pics for you. Enjoy!

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Raku-U at Port Moody Festival of the Arts

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Who: You and your family

What: Raku-U at Port Moody’s Art 4 U Day *

When: Sunday, Sept. 25, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Where: Parking lot behind the Port Moody Arts Centre, 2425 Saint Johns Street, Port Moody, BC

Why: Decorate your own pottery and help celebrate Port Moody Festival of the Arts‘ Art 4 U Day!

* At Raku-U, families and individuals can take part in an outside pottery firing. Raku is a type of pottery that was originally made in Japan. It can have a crackle effect, be brightly colored or pearly or metallic. It’s very beautiful and fun to do!! Starting at 11 a.m., small to medium-sized ceramic pieces will be sold for $5-10 in the Raku Area (parking lot behind the Arts Centre). After choosing your pieces, you glaze them for firing. They will be fired in special kilns that are set up outside. (The kilns are roped off and the area is safe for family members.) After your piece has cooled, you can take it home to enjoy! Arts Centre volunteers are on hand to help you each step of the way. Many people have been making figurines that will appeal to children for the event and I know they will be sure to please… Come on down!


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Everything you need to know about making ceramic beads

When I was in high school, I remember making beads out of red clay. I still have them. They’re fairly uniform and not bad for a sixteen-year-old. More recently, some of my friends from the studio were working on beads. Dan had purchased a new fangled tool that was supposed to help make beads. It worked so so but wasn’t great and he wasn’t impressed either. If I’m going to make some again, I’ll stick to the old fashioned method, completely by hand. Beads still intrigue me and I’d like to do some more but, before I do, I want to design some earrings or necklaces and make them piecemeal. There is an excellent series about bead making on the net and I’m listing the links to it below. Mary Harding narrates as she makes  the beads, some of which she takes through the firing stage. In the first video, Mary shows us the rudiments of making beads with simple materials, bbq skewers, sponge, bowl of water, clay needle. Her techniques are carefully recorded by the camera person and there are plenty of close-ups and pans. I especially like the last three of the series, which show us how to make lovely raku beads. Ms. Harding provides a great service in posting these instructional videos on youtube. Her finished work can be found at Mary Harding Jewelry and it is exquisite. You can tell she is a precision worker in the following videos and it is very gratifying to see her range of designs and glaze treatment on her own website. If you want to make beads you need to look no further than Mary Harding.

Making Ceramic Beads

Making a Graduated Strand of Beads

Raku Bead Making Part 1

Raku Bead Making Part 2

Raku Bead Making Part 3

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A sweet rakued pony

Yesterday, my friend Gary climbed up our twenty-six stairs, reaching the somewhat flat area by our cottage. I was waiting to greet him. He took a look around, as it was the first time he’s been up on the hill. He saw our greenhouse and contemplated whether he should set one up at his place, a picture-book home overlooking a bay. He looked at our porch project, then his gaze travelled up the forested hill. And he gave me a pony, a lovely and generous gift. The pony’s iridescent body is glossy and dark and the hooves are matte black from raku kiln smoke. It is a treasure. You may remember Gary Ruckman’s work, but if you have yet to see it or want to refresh your memory, click on this link to Gary’s Wild Horse Plains. Here’s a peek at the little gem he gave me… It fits right in with our little home and will give us much pleasure.

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