Raku party attracts hairy potters

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By Ada Lang

Amy and Henry Gernhart hosted their annual Raku Party this past Saturday at their studio just off of Cedar Key. Space was limited so, only a lucky few attended the event. Even pottery novices were welcomed because Henry had prepared the hand-formed pieces prior to the party and guests simply had to paint their

designs or glazes on, wait as they were fired and pack up their wares for the trip home.

Raku is the Japanese term for “enjoyment” or “ease”, according to Wikipedia and dates back to the mid-1500’s. Raku bowls are small hand-built pieces (as opposed to wheel thrown) that are often used in tea ceremonies.

The glazes can vary from those that are laden with metals that leave a shiny, metallic finish to simple monochromatic hues in black or green. It depends on the amount of trace metals in the glaze, the amount of oxygen and the temperature of the kiln. You never know exactly what you will get when the pottery comes out. Using copper also adds another element of surprise and certain glazes crackle, adding another dimension to the piece.

For more information you can also visit their studio at 13951 SW 77th Pl. (2.5 miles north of Hwy 24 off 347). Call Amy at 352- 543-9165 if you would like to schedule a time to come out for a tour.