Clay Times Back Issues Vol. 2 Issue 4 • May/June 1996 - Page 29

RAKU WORKSHOP tom works are all made on-site, either by Jan or by her senior-level builders, with extra-special attention given to detail. The process cannot be rushed: each work is frequently covered with plastic throughout the assembly process, and allowed to dry slowly over a one- to two-week period. Each join is performed with careful scoring of each part to be attached, always using vinegar to moisten the area to be joined. Because vinegar evaporates much more slowly than water, the percent of losses due to cracking from uneven drying of parts is greatly minimized. (Jan has also found that cider vinegar seems to work much better than distilled vinegar for this purpose.) Before assembling the main walls and roof, “it’s faster and more efficient to do as much as possible while it’s flat,” Jan says. Necessary windows and doorways are cut out, and shutters or other decorative appendages such as vines and trellises are applied. Following assembly, chimneys, shrubbery, and extended roofs and dormers are added. At this stage, it is easiest to critique the profile of the extensions to see that they’re in line with the cottage walls. Once each work has become bone dry, it is bisqued to cone 015 in one of Jan’s large electric kilns. It with Rick Berman Tin Barn Pottery • The Plains, VA June 8 & 9, 1996 • $90 CALL (540) 253-5997 Jan Richardson works on a removable roof for one of her container cottages. is then transferred to the glaze room, where it’s partially airbrushed with glaze in a well-ventilated spray booth (always wearing a respirator). A pre-cut masque is used to protect the roof area during spraying. The roof is then brushed with oxides before high firing. Most of Jan’s work is sold retail at a network of established art and craft shows across the U.S., and via mail order to a long-time following of collectors. Some of the larger, custom homes have sold for as much as $8,000. ■ Tools of the trade: soft