I am a computer programmer and have been in the computer industry for just over 30 years. Before the fall of 1997 I had no prior art experience at all. That fall I started taking weekly classes at the Rec Dept in Kennesaw Ga taught by Patty Caldwell. I took classes for just over three years. I bought my own wheel after one year and a year later I bought an electric kiln and worked out of my basement studio and mixed my own glazes. In addition I’ve attended numerous raku workshops taught by Rick Berman, Carol Brull and Jerry Machinot. I’ve also attended a 10 day workshop by Dolly Noranjo at her studio just outside Santa Fe, New Mexico on Native American hand building and firing and am strongly influenced by Native American pottery. I have also attended 3 anigama workshops at the Hambidge House in Rayburn Gap, Ga. I do cone 6 electric kiln firing, raku, horsehair and some pit firing. In August of 2003 my wife and I moved from Atlanta metro area to South Georgia. I had a studio built and produce all my pottery there. My work can be purchased at Burton's Gallery and Emporium just out of Clarkesville Georgia and at the Georgia Heritage Center for the Arts in Tallulah Falls Georgia.
Raku pottery is created with a specific firing process that uses fire, smoke and special glazes to create unique patterns and designs. After the pottery is made it is dried completely. Then the pots are bisque fired in an electric kiln to cone 04, which is about 1945°F. Then the pots are glazed with special raku glazes or low fire glazes. Then the pots undergo a firing process for approximately 30 to 45 minutes in a kiln that is fueled by propane and reaches temperatures of about 1800°F. In my kiln I can fire up to 4 pots at one time depending on the size of the pots.
After firing each piece is covered with newspaper or other organic matter and allowed to burn and smoke for a minute and then sprayed with water or covered by a container and allowed to smoke for a short time.
Raku pottery is for decorative purposes only and should NOT be used to hold liquids or to serve food.
Once a pot has been made it is allowed to completely dry. Then terra sigillata, which is made of liquid clay, is applied and the piece is then polished to produce a nice shine on the piece. Then it is bisque fired in an electric kiln no higher than cone 012, which is about 870°F. Each piece is then fired approximately 30 to 45 minutes in a kiln that is fueled by propane and reaches a temperatureof about 1800°F.
The piece is then allowed to cool before the hair is applied. If the piece is too hot the hair will smudge and if it is too cool it won’t burn. On some pieces I spray ferric chloride, which I must do while wearing a respirator, which gives a a honey brown color.
Horsehair pottery is for decorative purposes only and should NOT be used to hold liquids or to serve food.