Raku Day at Farragut

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Raku Day is a yearly tradition for ceramics students at Farragut High School. It takes place outside behind the gym and is planned and supervised by Ms. Love. Students are hard at work for the weeks prior to the big day, waiting in anticipation to finalize their creations. 

Raku is an ancient Japanese firing process used to make pottery. Students start with raku clay to make their piece, then it is glazed, dried, and put into the kiln. After the pieces are removed from the hot kiln and cooled, the students’ creations are complete. 

Farragut High School ceramics students Sophia Luna and Mary Frances Ernstberger participated in Raku Day this year. 

The students had different jobs throughout the day including moving the kiln body and lighting the burner, with Mary Frances noting, “My favorite job was lifting the kiln.” 

The Raku process creates many interesting and different products compared to regular firing.

Mary Frances said, “I prefer the Raku process. You can get more metallics and different colors than with regular firing. But, it’s not the right finish for every piece.”

Sophia added, “It makes the finishes look more professional and glossy.”

Both Sophia and Mary Frances were extremely pleased with how their pieces turned out, and Mary Frances remarked, “The blue metallic finish couldn’t have been done with regular firing.”

Sophia said, “My favorite piece was my strawberry because it was cute.”

Among Sophia’s strawberry were other pieces that included a boot, spine lamp, and a globe, and Mary Frances’s blue and metallic Christmas tree. 

Many students enjoyed taking a break to come look at the beautiful pieces their fellow classmates had made. 

Students from around the school could come to observe the process and one observer, Emery Cross, said, “It looked very advanced.” 

We’ll see what next year’s Raku Day has in store!