Take a look at the new project... and you will notice immediately how far these students have come! All the hard work and practice has paid off. My hope is that I see these students in an advanced class next year.
Each year, the advanced students experiment and play with fire in the Raku process. This year we held it at Hingham High School and invited Hanover High AP students to join us.
Raku originated in Japan but has become a popular experimental process used all over the world. However, there are many considerations before the firing takes place. The advanced pottery students needed to make a piece of work in advance and wait for it to be bisqued fired before applying a special raku glaze. Furthermore, the firing takes place outside with a gas powered kiln. Once the kiln reaches temperature at 1800 degrees, the kiln is opened and the work is placed in a metal barrel with sawdust and newspaper and a large fire erupts. Before the kiln is opened, the students needed to decide whether they would like their artwork to be reduced or oxidized because one glaze can turn out very differently depending on the chemical reactions. In a reduction, the glaze is starved of oxygen and produces copper tones. On the other hand, oxidation exposes the piece to more oxygen and therefore fire producing metallic greens and blues. The special thing about this type of firing is how many surprises their are in such a short time. The students embraced the lack of control and left with gorgeous work.
What a day of incredible work! Take a look at some of the results here or check out a complete gallery by clicking this link. Some of this work was also photographed and submitted into the Scholastic Art Awards. Lets hope they recognize how talented these students really are!