Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Fused Glass Classes

October 20, 2015

New classes for Fall 2015 have been posted.  Offering Fused Glass Jewelry, Night Lights, and Ornaments.  Additional classes will be posted throughout the season.  Think about those gifts you might be able to make yourself!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Raku Process


The term Raku is loosely used to define a style of pottery or a type of firing method derived from an ancient Oriental process developed over 400 years ago. While "modern raku" is related to Japanese raku through the adaptation of the technique, the aesthetic of most contemporary work is totally unrelated to traditional Japanese work.

Pieces are placed in the kiln and heated to almost 2000 degrees in a very short period of time.  Once up to temperature, the kiln is opened and using tongs, the pots are removed from the inferno. As the glowing vessel is hit by the cool air outside the kiln, the severe temperature change produces the cracks in the glaze. Upon leaving the kiln, the glowing pot is placed directly into an airtight container ("reduction chamber") filled with leaves, pine needles, or the like, which highlights the valuable cracks in the glaze. When the colors are deemed "just right", the vessel (often still over 1,000 degrees) is then plunged into cold water to halt the process.

Each piece is truly one of a kind. Seldom watertight, Raku is actually a very poor choice for food or a flower vase; it is pottery apart from utility or function.

Raku is a daring process, and many pots may explode during some phase of the firing.
Visit my website - www.dianeharrisart.com to see some of my Raku pieces.


I have a new website - www.dianeharrisart.com. I am still loading my artwork but I have a small selection of the types of pieces I make.  Take a look and let me know what you think.

I have also decided to post a few items on Ebay and Etsy to get my website out there and hopefully get it higher in the search listing.  We will see how it goes. 

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Getting Started.....

I'm just starting to blog and expect to include information on my Art processes - Raku Pottery and Fused Glass.  I have been studying pottery for 20 years, focusing on Raku firing.  I have been working with kiln glass for 10 years, focusing mostly on dichroic jewelry but also experimenting with larger pieces.

I studied pottery with Audrey Schmitz at Northern Oklahoma College. I began taking ceramics classes as a stress relief and quickly became addicted.  We learned many clay processes including pinch pots, slab building, coil pots, throwing on a wheel, as well as combining multiple processes to make one piece.  We also experimented with many types of firing.  The first was Raku since it gives such rapid results.  I loved it from the start.  We also used our electric kilns for oxidation firing and we had a large gas kiln for reduction firing.  I have not yet had the opportunity to experiment with salt firing or wood firing.  I enjoy the different glaze results of each type of firing.  But, I have always come back to Raku.

I learned glass on my own using existing kiln knowledge and working together with a good friend Betty Biederman who had taken a class in San Antonio.  She learned the basics and I had the experimental attitude to just jump in and start trying.  We had a lot of fun and mostly only successful results.

My limitation with both Raku and Glass has been equipment, or lack of.  I have an electric kiln for bisque firing my pottery, a Raku kiln powered by propane and a weed-burning torch, and two glass kilns, the largest being 16" square.  It is amazing what can be done when you can't buy all the biggest, newest, and best.

I enjoy the problem solving that comes with art.  Many outside the art world would not even realize this but those that are involved understand what I mean.  Glaze mixing is like chemistry class all over again.  Compatibility of materials can cause many frustrations. Figuring out how to combine pieces or processes involves a lot of trial and error.

I am now in Taos NM where I started visiting in 1996 when my mother moved here.  I finally moved in 2010 and love it.  The art community combined with the absolutely beautiful environment is hard to beat.

In future entries I hope to include information about my work and processes I have tried.