Wally Asselberghs Workshop
Exploring Naked Raku - 2007
Wally Asselberghs will journey from Belgium to lead an intense exploration of the theory and practice of "naked raku," a technique he has specialized in since 1995. Participants will experience this raku-based process which uses sacrificial slip and glaze layers as catalysts to capture patterns and surface textures left behind by smoke and fire. Wally will present the basic naked raku approach, and also encourage participants to experiment with splashed and diluted glazes for more sophisticated effects.
Participants will apply slip and glaze to their previously bisque-fired work, then fire in a standard raku kiln. Works will be reduced in a post-fire smoke chamber and allowed to cool. The cooling slip and glaze crack, allowing smoke to penetrate underneath creating shading, specks, and irregular crack patterns. The egg-shell layer of slip and glaze is peeled and scrubbed off, revealing the smoke effects bonded to the bare clay. This process, different from using a traditional white crackle glaze, yields infinitely more varied results ranging from bold lightning patterns to soft, subtle speckling . . . often on the same piece
Class size 15.
Free to the public
April 28-29, 2007
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wally Asselberghs Bio
Wally Asselberghs received his ceramic training during 12 years of classes at Art Academy in Antwerpen, Belgium, completed by various private workshops in Belgium, France and Holland. He has been working in clay for more than 25 years, with an original emphasis on stoneware ash glazes and Western Raku.
After his first initiation in "Naked Raku" in 1995, he decided to fully specialize in this technique. In 1998 he began organizing and teaching workshops in Belgium. In April 2003, he was invited by Linda and Charles Riggs to teach two workshops in their studio in North Carolina. Participants were trained in the Riggs "slip-resist" technique, and Wally's 'Slip and glaze" method.
An article about these sessions appeared in the July 2003 issue "Clay Times" magazine. The following year, he returned to the US to host workshops in Phoenix and Tucson, and presented his technique during the opening lecture at the "Ceramic Sculpture Conference" in Davis, California.
A photograph of his work was selected for the recent Lark Book "Alternative Kilns and Firing Techniques", which also published his slip formula in the recipe section. Wally continues to show in exhibits and teach workshops throughout Europe and North America. In 2006 he won a Purchase Award at the International Orton Cone Box Show.
While his original emphasis was on wheelthrown vases and bowls, his more recent work is made by combining coiling techniques and molded concave plates. In these organic objects, he tries to find a visual language in which his favorite forms -- animal, human body, rocks, marks left by forces of wind and water -- are reduced to their utmost essence and purity.
Wally is also the creator and moderator of an "International Naked Raku Forum" on the Internet, started on Yahoo five years ago for freely sharing recipes, photographs and ideas. The forum now has 640 members in 33 countries worldwide.