RAKU Firing with Thien Nguyen, monthly on 2nd Sat, 10-3pm
Discover the fire and drama of amazing raku at District Clay. Bring 5-7 bisqued pots and transform them into raku masterpieces. You will be trained by our resident artist, Thien Nguyen, on how to glaze, fire and clean your pots. Once the firing starts, you will be a part of the firing - manning the raku kiln, handling the combustion chambers and then removing the char to discover your luminous creations.
District Clay will supply translucent and crackle glazes for your use.
Max 7 participants.
Thien Nguyen artist statement
I see pottery as a way to connect with people. I want you to touch each piece, pick it up, and look at it from different points of view. I hope it will trigger your imagination, your memories, or remind you of something else.
I focus mostly on wheel-thrown raku vessels. I am very meticulous with the shape of each piece and I try to push the limits of the clay, and also the limits of my throwing skills to make them as big and light as I can. I want to surprise you when you pick it up.
I am loose and experimental with the glazing. I alter my glazes to get new colors so that each piece is always different. The glaze is poured so that it runs and finds it own path around the pot because I like the organic look of it and the contrast between the glazed and unglazed surfaces.
I fire my vessels using the American Raku technique. The pieces are heated to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, removed from the kiln and placed in a container with sawdust to smoke and reduce. I try to control for the color and finish but the appeal of rakuing is the variable effect of the heat and smoke on the final piece. It is different every time and I never know what I will get until the smoke clears.