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Burnin up in the Dordogne

Well, it's been a funny old couple of weeks since I last wrote here

Partly that's to do with being in the Dordogne, France ostensibly on a Rakku course. I say ostensibly because the level of actual training in Raku techniques and theory has been quite low.

But that doesn't mean it hasn't been an enjoyable learning experience. I made the best coil pot I have made. Ok it was only the third one I have ever made, but I haven't previously had the time and space to do that type of building work, and was pleased to find put what I can make.

The time away with the other students of the course, and our tutor, has been very valuable, as a "team building/bonding" event. We gelled well over our shared interest in ceramics and whilst we all brought our own baggage to the course, we shared the weight. The vision of what a countryside ceramic studio could be like was eye opening. When the weather is good, and the muse is strong,time can fly. Very much helped by good food, and good wine.

So, what did I learn about Raku?

Mostly the importance of being organised and having a clear plan of action. When the sparks are flying is not the time to work out that you don't have enough sawdust or that the pails holding it are too hot to hold.

Also, that you need more glaze than you expect!

I learned that I might do it again, but with small pieces and under tightly controlled circumstances, i want more of a say about what might come out!

One challenge with ceramics generally, and raku even more so, is the need to accept disaster and triumph as very similar events. That will remain a challenge for me I think, but I will work at it!

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