Raku in Schools - Aspley State High School

Written by Aaron McDonough Visual Art Teacher, Aspley State High School
Friday, 30 November 2018
Raku Collection Amy Stevenson, Student, Aspley SHS, 2018
Raku Collection Amy Stevenson, Student, Aspley SHS, 2018

On Thursday the 25 October 2018, Visual Art students at Aspley State High School participated in a Raku Firing workshop with the help of Tania Edwards from Ceramics Arts Queensland, who provided her expertise with Raku, glazing, and firing processes.

This is the 4th year Aspley SHS has had Ceramics Arts Queensland run this workshop at our school, and every year it is a highlight in our Visual Arts program.

Student’s experience, a day of fun, mystery, and excitement.

Each piece of Raku Pottery is special and unique in its own way, shape, and form, and it is an experience many say they will never forget!

Raku Firing Student Work Tiki Aspley SHS
Raku Firing Student Work, Aspley SHS

All of our Raku artworks go on display at our yearly Art Show held on the same night as the schools awards night.

At Aspley State High School, we believe in giving our students the opportunity to participate in a variety of learning experiences not generally found in many schools.

In Visual Art, one of those experiences is the two-day Raku workshop. The workshops run by Ceramics Arts Queensland have become an integral part of our Visual Art program for grade 8, 9, 10, and 11.

Throwing a pot on the Barbie
Throwing a pot on the Barbie

In each year level, students have the opportunity to work and learn in an outdoor environment with professional artists who work with ceramics, and who sell their work professionally.

Year 11 Visual Arts in Practice students do a unit of ceramics and Raku firing is the pinnacle experience of this unit.

This initiative has allowed other year levels to be involved in this process and experience, with units now written specifically around Raku firing.

Year 11 and 12 students studying Visual Arts (General), in 2019 and 2020, will also have the opportunity to access the Raku process for ceramic works they have created.

We have fired hundreds of pieces over the past 4 years, with little breakage, and many unique and varied successes.

The Raku workshops are now firmly embedded into our curriculum going forward, with the changes to Queensland’s senior curriculum being implemented in 2019, and junior arts curriculum due to be implemented in 2020.

The workshops offer a unique learning experience that addresses and meets varying learning objectives, including cross-curricular understandings relating to chemistry and math.

The workshops, held over two days; consist of a glazing workshops run over the day, and a week prior to the firing workshop. Each glazing workshop fits into a 70-minute lesson, with the glazes, and equipment provided as part of the cost.

The firing workshop usually takes around 5 hours, with the kilns and gas supplied.

Raku Collection Student Work Aspley SHS 2017
Raku Collection Student Work, Aspley SHS, 2017

The learning experiences presented to the students of Aspley SHS by Ceramics Arts Queensland, are invaluable, and are always greatly received and appreciated.

The students are always excited to see the pots glowing red, and the final transformation of their own work. Staff and students are already looking forward to next year’s firing.

Ceramic Arts Queensland has a history of successful workshops for adults and children. In our Raku for Schools programme we want to inspire the imaginations of children and teach new skills and of course have a lot of fun. Contact CAQ for more details: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.