North High art students try ancient pottery technique - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

North High art students try ancient pottery technique for first time

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As the fire consumes the oxygen from the air, it also draws the oxygen out of the pottery and its glaze. As the fire consumes the oxygen from the air, it also draws the oxygen out of the pottery and its glaze.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

Some Sioux City North High School students are showing off their artistic talents with some ancient methods.

For the first time in school history, they're using raku, an ancient Japanese pottery technique.

Normally, glazing can take up to 16 hours, but this method takes about one hour. Students did some last minute work, before heading to an outdoor kiln.

"They're going to be cherry red. We will put them in a bed of sawdust, and then cover them very quickly and that will reduce it and give us some amazing colors and glazes," said Tom Roberts, art teacher at North High School.

The outdoor kiln heats to 1800 degrees. As the fire consumes the oxygen from the air, it also draws the oxygen out of the pottery and its glaze. This creates the swirls of greens, blues, and copper tones.

For a bit of a twist, some of the students applied horse hair to the pots to burn designs into the sides.

"It's very addictive because once you do a raku firing and you see all these different results that you get, you want to continue doing it. And a lot of potters and ceramic instructors I know, this is all they do," said Tom Roberts.

The students did not get to take the pottery home right away. First, they'll discuss the advantages of using the technique as a class.

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