Yellow Copper Lusters, Beading Glazes, and Other Special Treats for Raku
I am more or less of a recreational raku-er. Ceramics can be a solitary pursuit; raku - for me at least - is a team sport. I regularly offer raku workshops for Portland Pottery, and occasionally do a firing with my classes. In a communal studio like Portland Pottery, students have little exposure to the hot side of things. They make the work, put it on a cart and then...well, it goes away for a while, and comes back changed. It's not practical to involve students in the firing of the stoneware kiln, apart from peeking into the spyholes on occasion, but we can load, fire, and unload the raku kiln all in one evening. It gives students a chance to be directly involved and take some of the mystery out of the firing process.
The workshops are a bit different. Often they are folks who already know and love raku, but don't have their own kilns, sprinkled with a few beginners who have heard about it and want to try it. It's been a great season for raku, with the workshops filling up quickly and we've had some gorgeous results. I've got one last workshop to teach, and I want to shake things up a bit, with new glazes and some terra sigs to use with horsehair and feathers.
Our last raku of the season is Saturday November 1. Give Cooper at Portland Pottery a cal if you want in; 207-772-4334.
Lori Keenan Watts (aka me) is a potter, gardener, and avid reader from Augusta, Maine. Though I started my university education in surface design for fabric, clay quickly grabbed me by the heart and redirected my creative impulses. I have been a potter for over 25 years -- hard to believe. The most valuable years of my ceramic education were spent in graduate study at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, under the tutalage of Dan Anderson and Paul Dresang.
My aesthetic is guided by my love of the material itself. What fascinates me and makes a pot compelling for me is the clay-ness of clay: the squooshiness that becomes the adamantine solidity. I also like patterns, unexpected proportions, and when the flame comes along and dissolves part of my careful decorating efforts! I am obstinate about this aesthetic, to a point which might be called pig-headed, but hey, if you don't like what you make, why bother?
My happy little family also includes my husband, musician and photographer (and author of the book Alewife) Doug Watts; five cats; and a turtle, all foundlings and rescues of one stripe or another.