Workshops are periodically held at Marsha's studio in Whitesville, NY.
Click on the Contact tab to send Marsha a message, if you have any questions or just want to let her know that you'd be interested to attend.
RAKU: A firing process originating in Japan, which involves a quick heating and cooling of the pottery, with highly unpredictable results.
Marsha's work is called “naked raku,” meaning there is no glaze on the finished piece. A clay piece is created, then burnished when leather hard, for a smooth surface. Some sanding after the bisque firing will give it a marble like texture. A “sacrificial” slip and glaze are applied.
The work is fired to approximately 1400F. When the glaze becomes molten, the piece is removed from the kiln.
The piece is held in the air for about 45 seconds, or until I hear the glaze “crackle.” Next, it’s placed into a metal trash can with combustibles which burst into flame. The can is closed to extinguish the flames, creating smoke which penetrates the clay through the cracks in the glaze and any unglazed areas. The piece is then removed from the can, sprayed with water, and the sacrificial slip and glaze fall away.
The carbon from the smoke, absorbed into the clay through the glaze cracks, draws the design. These are non-functional pieces, meant for display and enjoyment.