RAKU IS THEATRICAL in some ways," said pottery artist Terry Whye, who will offer a four-day workshop in raku pottery technique next month.
At her Finksburg studio, students will form clay into useful vessels and fire them by rules passed along for 15 generations, following Raku Chojiro, who developed the unique method to make ceramic teacups in 16th-century Japan.
The process is linked with nature: simplicity of design for clay bowls or pots, colored by low-fire glazes and smoke. The drama develops as the potter watches glazes melt and lets smoke burn natural patterns into the pots. With a hiss and sputter, the potter quenches the firing in water, then scrubs the pots to reveal what has become fused and permanent.
The drama can finish in 20 minutes, in stark contrast to typical firing of nine hours heating and two days of cooling.
A portable raku kiln is taken to Whye's studio for the workshop, where firing becomes a visual feast.
"We know we've come up to temperature by looking into the kiln while wearing goggles. You can see the glazes bubble up, like volcanic lava, and settle down to a glossy surface. It's very different from any other firing.
"Seconds and minutes can count" for deciding when to stop the process, Whye explained.
Workshop participants work as a team for the firing, starting at 10 a.m., sharing a potluck lunch and working at the kiln until all pieces are done. Students may make any number of pieces or sculpture during the workshop.
"Raku is the perfect entree into clay, the full experience with low investment. All processes are complete in four weeks," Whye said.
She limits the studio to six youths each morning and six adults each afternoon. A few places are open.
This summer, the workshop will be held Thursdays next month. Costs, including clay, glaze and firing, are $150 for youth and $175 for adult.
Children's show art
Colorful artwork by children has brought imaginative themes to the walls of Hampstead Town Hall, where the art of Hampstead Elementary School pupils will be on display until Aug. 2.
Comical circus acts were painted and described by first-grade pupils, including a dog on a seesaw by Kaitlin Moore; people jumping off elephants by Jeremias Goss; seals balancing balls by Kailey Wolfe; and others by Catalina Righter and Arielle Jochum.
Enormous flowers are the art of Bradley Davidson, Sarah Sitton, Jacob Larent and Lindsay Crue, all first-graders.
A spotted leopard was drawn by Kacey Marinel, and birds by Tyler Rafferty, second-graders. Silhouettes were made by Courtney Wales, Marissa Tedder, Hannah Lynn, Lindsay Wolfe and Andrew Adami, second-graders.
Third-graders Emily Eason and Claire Mazzone painted themselves with lots of friends playing outdoors. More playground pictures, framed with a quilt-style collage, were made by Lydia Mahanna and Tori Zachman. Crystal Scott's playground has a tiger, and Katlyn Harmon confronts a trio of tidal waves.
Sculptured masks of colored cut paper are shown by third-graders Samantha Kerns, Courtney Niles, Cassie Smink, Caroline Wickline, Bradley Maempel and Abbey Urbanik.
Fourth-graders show great skill with media. Metal foil repousse, in which bumps and ridges are carefully pressed for texture and design, was used to create imaginary castles by Abbey Jankowski, Schuyler Heird, Jonathan Halberstam, Jake Gebhardt, Cheniah Goss, Jeremy Brown, Ashley Parkent, Daniel Hoffman and Jacob Marino.
Tiny squares of paper were used for mosaic portraits by fourth-graders Jamie Allen, Brittany Hare, Nicole Wilson, Megan Leaf and Lindsay Bickel. Paper mosaic tiles suggested a striped tiger to Megan Resch. A composition of flowers in a vase was created by Amy Kunz. Both are fourth-graders.
Relief printing on fabric created colorful mats by Michael Pardoe, Anna Elder, Emily Gress and Rachel Sharkey, all in fourth grade.
The show is open every day and during evening meetings.
Town Hall is at 1034 S. Carroll St.
Pizza for books
Library services for children and teens will get a financial boost July 17 from people who eat at Pizza Hut that evening.
From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., all Pizza Huts in Carroll County will donate 20 percent of net sales to the public library. Customers must mention the library or present a coupon available at all library branches.
Another family night to raise funds will be held Aug. 7.
Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.