Riverview art class experiences ancient Japanese raku firing

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Lisa Goudy
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Riverview Collegiate teacher Kelly Grass prepares to take a piece of pottery out of a tin garbage can after it has gone through the raku firing process.

By Lisa Goudy

In the 16th century, raku ware was traditionally used in the Japanese tea ceremony.

More than 500 years later, the pottery technique is still used for its unique textures. Grade 10, 11 and 12 students in the senior art class at Riverview Collegiate Institute had the chance to experience raku firing on Tuesday.

“I’m kind of a pyro maniac, so I like sitting here watching the fire and all the cool things that it does and the different reactions it makes with different glazes,” said Grade 11 student Desmond Morehouse. “I used to think art was kind of pointless. I grew up in more of a factual math family so I didn’t really like art … but I think it’s kind of interesting and I definitely have more of a respect for it now.”

Teacher Kelly Grass said it was the first time he had done raku firing with a class, but he said it gives the pieces a lot of “neat surprises.”

“Once you do it, you become hooked on it,” said Grass. “It’s neat because there’s a lot of fire and smoke and it’s got that 'wow' element.”

For more information, see an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.

 

Organizations: Riverview Collegiate Institute, Times-Herald

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