RAY BOGLE’S PREPARATION GUIDES

Alternative Firing Workshop

Preparation Guide

Overview: Please use the information in this guide to prepare for your Alternative Firing workshop. It provides all the critical information you need to help you enjoy the workshop and have your pieces survive the process.

What type of pieces should I make?

Alternative Firing techniques work best with pieces that are smooth and are “closed” forms such as vases or bottles. Other recommended forms are tiles or shallow bowls. Due to kiln space limitations in the workshop, medium/large bowls and large tiles are not acceptable. Also, texture is not your friend as it is not easily visible on the finished pieces and it can cause glaze to stick on Naked Raku. Your pieces should be smooth! This starts by ribbing your thrown pieces to remove extra slip and throwing lines and then ribbing trimmed areas to produce a smooth surface. The application of Terra Sigillata (See #4 below) to your greenware piece will provide the final smoothness and sheen.

How many pieces should I bring?

For this workshop, please bring 3 bisque pieces for the Pit Firing and 2 bisque pieces for raku, that are no taller than 10” and no wider than 6”. Shallow bowls should be no wider than 6” and tiles no larger than 4”x6”. Feel free to bring more (especially if you pieces are small), but it is not guaranteed that more than 5 pieces will be fired during the workshop.

What kind of clay should I use?

Alternative firing processes require quick heating and cooling of your pieces. This requires clay that can go through these temperature changes without cracking/breaking. Soldate 60 is very tolerant of this as are other clays marketed as “Raku” clay. Low grog clays such as B-Mix and Little Loafers are not recommended for this process. Phoenix can be used, but is not as reliable as Soldate 60.

How do I use Terra Sigillata (Terra Sig)?

Terra Sig’s purpose is to “seal” the clay and provide a smooth surface to facilitate the glaze releasing from your piece. It is best applied to your greenware pieces and requires 3 even coats to the entire outside, including the bottom. In addition to the outside of a closed form, it should be applied to the inside but no further in than you can see. For a shallow bowl, brush it on the inside and outside. For a tile, brush it on one side only and on the edges.

After the 3rd coat, and after any “shiny wetness” is gone, but before it is completely dry, you should be able to lightly buff your piece with a soft cloth. This should produce a nice sheen on your piece. There is no need to officially “burnish” your pieces as this takes a long time and does not significantly alter the end result.

Note 1: Highly burnished pieces can have issues with the Naked Raku process. Please ensure pieces for Naked Raku are only burnished to a satin sheen.

Note 2: Be careful buffing your pieces as they are fragile and rims can be easily broken.

Where can I get Terra Sig?

You can make it….BUT, I highly recommend purchasing it. It is available from The Kiln Doctor and other web sources, such as New Mexico Clay. It comes in quart jars and it goes a long way. A quart can easily coat 30 6-8” pieces. If you are interested in making it, just search the web for Terra Sigillata recipes. I have always used Terra Sig made from OM-4 Ball Clay.

Note: If you make your Terra Sig you may end up with Terra Sig that will burnish to a higher sheen than the New Mexico Clay Terra Sig. This is fine for Pit and Saggar pots, but care should be taken to NOT burnish Naked Raku to a shiny surface.

What temperature should I fire my pieces to?

First of all, you should not fire your pieces until the Terra Sigillata has been applied! Then you should bisque your pieces to cone 08. Anywhere between 010 and 08 should be fine, but a higher bisque temp can cause issues.

What should I wear?

Alternative Firing techniques involve fire and smoke. Plan on wearing long sleeves, long pants, and closed toe shoes. Other safety equipment will be provided.

Do I need to bring anything other than my pieces?

No, all other materials and equipment are provided. Please come and expect a relaxing and fun experience with other clay artists.

I can be reached at the email address and phone # below if you have any questions as you are preparing for this workshop.

Ray Bogle

Email: rbogle@comcast.net

Phone: 410-474-0584

Intro to Alternaive Firing 1.jpg


Naked Raku Workshop

Preparation Guide

Overview: Please use the information in this guide to prepare for your Naked Raku workshop. It provides all the critical information you need to help you enjoy the workshop and have your pieces survive the process.

What type of pieces should I make?

Naked Raku works best with pieces that are smooth and are “closed” forms such as vases or bottles. Other recommended forms are tiles or shallow bowls. Due to space limitations in the workshop, medium/large bowls and tiles are not recommended. Also, texture is not your friend as it is not easily visible on the finished piece and it can cause glaze to stick. Your pieces should be smooth! This starts by ribbing your thrown pieces to remove extra slip and throwing lines and then ribbing trimmed areas to produce a smooth surface. The application of Terra Sigillata (See #4 below) to your greenware piece will provide the final smoothness and sheen. Page 3 shows some sample forms that work nicely for Naked Raku.

How many pieces should I bring?

Bring 3 bisque pieces that are no taller than 10” and no wider than 6”. Shallow bowls should be no wider than 6” and tiles no larger than 4”x6”. Feel free to bring more pieces, but it is not guaranteed that more than 3 pieces will be fired during the workshop.

What kind of clay should I use?

The Naked Raku firing process requires quick heating and cooling of your pieces. This requires clay that can go through these temperature changes without cracking/breaking. Soldate 60 is very tolerant of this as are other clays marketed as “Raku” clay. Low grog clays such as B-Mix and Little Loafers are not recommended for this process. Phoenix can be used, but is not as reliable as Soldate 60.

How do I use Terra Sigillata (Terra Sig)?

Terra Sig’s purpose is to “seal” the clay and provide a smooth surface to facilitate the glaze releasing from your piece. It is best applied to your greenware pieces and requires 3 even coats to the entire outside, including the bottom. In addition to the outside of a closed form, it should be applied to the inside but no further in than you can see. For a shallow bowl, brush it on the inside and outside. For a tile, brush it on one side only and on the edges.

After the 3rd coat, and after any “shiny wetness” is gone, but before it is completely dry, you should be able to lightly buff your piece with a soft cloth. This should produce a nice sheen on your piece.

Note 1: Highly burnished pieces can have issues with the Naked Raku process. Please ensure pieces for Naked Raku are only burnished to a satin sheen.

Note 2: Be careful buffing your pieces as they are fragile. Do not worry about applying any Terra Sig on the inside.

Where can I get Terra Sig?

You can make it….BUT, I recommend purchasing it. It is available from The Kiln Doctor and other web sources, such as New Mexico Clay. It comes in quart jars and it goes a long way. A quart can easily coat 30 6-8” pieces. If you are interested in making it, just search the web for Terra Sigillata recipes. I have always used Terra Sig made from OM-4 Ball Clay.

What temperature should I fire my pieces to?

First of all, you should not fire your pieces until the Terra Sigillata has been applied! Then you should bisque your piece to approximately cone 08. Anywhere between 010 and 06 should be fine.

What should I wear?

Naked Raku firing involves fire and smoke. Plan on wearing long sleeves, long pants, and closed toe shoes. Other safety equipment will be provided.

Do I need to bring anything other than my pieces?

No, all other materials and equipment are provided. Please come and expect a relaxing and fun experience with other clay artists.

I can be reached at the email address and phone # below if you have any questions as you are preparing for this workshop.

Ray Bogle

Email: rbogle@comcast.net

Phone: 410-474-0584

Naked Raku 1.jpg