Experimental Raku Firing Techniques: Workshop with Stephen Braun
Saturday, May 30, 10am-5pm
$90 Student/Members/Seniors (Use Code "WS10" at final checkout)
Fee includes glaze materials and firing
Pre-registration is required
This informative and fun-hands on workshop will give students the opportunity to learn about and work with two low-fire firing techniques Stephen uses in creating his works - Obvara and Raku.
Stephen will introduce students to his approach and methods, including surface treatments incorporating commercial and custom-made glazes. Class participants will have the opportunity to mix some of Stephen’s glazes in the workshop.
The class will experiment with the glaze techniques introduced in a traditional raku firing- a hands-on technique where you remove glazed objects from a kiln at 1900 degrees and then put in an airtight container with combustible materials. Then they will experiment with the obvara firing method from Eastern Europe, used from the 1600's to seal pottery. In an obvara firing, objects are heated to 1500 degrees and then dipped in a sour dough solution, lifted from the solution for a few seconds and then dipped in water. This technique creates unique smoke patterns and textures on surfaces.
Each class participant will need to bring at least two bisqued objects to fire, and/or can select from the Clay Studio’s abandoned bisqueware collection. Some ceramics experience is helpful, but not required to take this workshop.
Sculptor Stephen Braun seeks to create a piercing visual language, one that motivates us, if not to act, then to think differently. Out of the human figure and an ever-evolving inventory of icons, Braun constructs allegories that reflect fiercely held concerns. Braun works in what he calls the “bastardized American raku technique” developed by Paul Soldner in the 1960s. Traditional Japanese raku has been used since the 16th century to produce wares for the tea ceremony. Like other socially conscious artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, Braun employs distortion, disjunction and defamiliarization to challenge the constructs our culture offers us.
Stephen Braun received his BA in anthropology from the University of Montana, Missoula, where he also studied ceramics under Rudy Autio, Ken Little, and Dennis Voss. His exhibition Hindsight is 20/20 will be at the Missoula Art Museum March 3 - August 8, 2020