Facilitated by DG South visual art teachers Kathy Myles and Molly O'Brien-Prusa during a cool spring day, DGS student ceramicists from Ceramics II and Ceramics Studio classes today participated in the 18th annual Raku/Primitive Firing event at South High School in Downers Grove. Raku pottery is created with a specific ceramic firing process that uses extreme temperatures, fire and smoke to create unique patterns and designs. Western-style raku usually involves removing pottery from the kiln while at bright red heat and placing it into containers with combustible materials. Once the materials ignite, the containers are closed. This produces an intense reduction atmosphere which effects the colors in glazes and clay bodies. The drastic thermal shock also produces cracking (known as crackling since it is deliberate).The student work that emerges from the smoke and fire of the day is visually stunning.
Karl Mankert, our RAKU "guru" from Chicago Kiln Service, was impressed by the work, and, the work ethic of the South HS ceramicists. In addition to providing the equipment for the RAKU day, Mr. Mankert coaches and teaches the student artists in the subtle techniques of RAKU firing. Special thanks to Friends of Fine Arts (FOFA) for supporting Mr. Mankert's visit and his work with student artists.
Look for these brilliantly developed pieces during the coming Spring Art Show starting on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. It is a great day indeed to be a Mustang artist!