One thing I really like to do is learn something NEW. I'm always a super-klutz at first so the REAL JOY for me is when the "light bulb in my head" finally turns on and I begin to master whatever it is I'm trying to learn. Hahaha!
On two Saturdays in September, a few friends and I attended a beginner raku workshop. We had such a GREAT time!
The first day we played with raku clay. Some of us had never worked with clay before (except as kids in school) so we tended to make simple items like mushrooms. But a few of the clever participants made masks to hang on trees or fences in their gardens and/or containers for dried flowers.
After we created the shapes, the clay had to dry and then be fired in a kiln. So two weeks later (last Saturday) we met again to paint glazes on out treasures and then fire them in an outdoor kiln (top right photo in first collage) to 1000 degrees Celsius heated with propane. (That's 1832 degrees Fahrenheit!) If you think the kiln looks a little like an old clothes dryer, you'd be right. It's a dryer lined with some kind of special insulation.
Notice the students in the next two photos are wearing pure cotton clothing with long sleeves, leather shoes, and lined leather gloves.
Once the items were up to temperature, our instructor and her helper (dressed like space creatures in goggles, leather, special lined gloves) opened the kiln and placed the items in individual holes in the ground lined with sawdust and shredded paper. We let the paper burn for a few seconds then quickly covered the holes with metal cans to smother the fire.
Yes, these are MY mushrooms set in my scree garden. ;-)
To join in the Favourite Things fun, visit Blue at Behind Kyanite's Door - http://behindkyanitesdoor.blogspot.com
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