Raku Workshops 2021 

Raku Workshop for PCAI: Saturday June 26, 2021

PCAI have organised an exciting and fun Raku master class at Rob Linigen’s Leura, Blue Mountains home studio. This is an all day event with only 10 places available for this workshop. So please book ASAP!

About Rob Linigen

Rob Linigen is a master potter, passionate about experimenting with glaze and firing techniques. As a practicing ceramic artist and teacher, (former Senior Head Teacher of Fine Arts, Nepean College WSI, TAFE), he is held in high esteem as a practicing and exhibiting artist. Rob generously shares his knowledge around glaze technology and pottery production.  PCAI has hosted Rob glaze workshops at PCAI studio, and students have attended his Raku workshops in Leura, NSW over the past few years.

What is raku?

Raku is a technique initially developed in Japan that has now been westernised for home studio potters. The technique involves using gas (or wood burning) kiln to heat the pottery to around 1000 degrees Celsius. When the pots are glowing the red-hot pot is removed from the kiln using elongated tongs and placed into bins filled with natural materials that will burn: e.g. paper, sawdust or pine needles. The bin lid is sealed to allow the carbon from the burning materials to react with the glazed pottery within.  When cooled, the pottery is removed and cleaned to reveal the magical surface outcome. Characteristic raku effects range from; brilliant metallic coppers, reds, silver sheens; matte blues, purples, yellows to azure , turquoise blues; white glaze with deep black contrasting crazing lines is a stunning effect.

What kind of pots work well in a raku firing?

Raku fired pots, are low fired and the surface glaze applied  contains a high degree of colourants that are not deemed as food safe, so therefore pots are not good as vessels to hold food or drink. Aim to make decorative, small scale sculptural forms, e.g. animals, ornamental pots made for use as planters, or non food items are safest.


In making pieces for the for raku process please consider the following: pieces must not be too heavy or awkward as you’ll be required to lift them out of the hot kiln and into the bin  using long tongs and facing the emanating heat coming from the kiln. Flat tiles can also prove difficult to pick up. Likewise protruding handles, tails, limbs, trunks etc can break off easily during the process.

When making and decorating your raku pot, consider what outcome you want. Think about positive and negative spaces that will add beauty and contrast to define your work.

How many pots can I fire?

Raku is a reasonably slow process. For this reason with x 10 people attending the workshop, you’ll most likely only get 4 bisque fired pieces ‘rakued”.  The size of the pieces must not exceed < 250mm high or wide. So make for quality, rather than quantity! You can bring more, but NB: they may not get fired.

What to bring to the workshop

Your Raku bisque pottery! Pots can be made in class or at home, using the white Raku clay we supply. Pots MUST be bisque fired prior to Saturday June 20 or you can’t raku them. You can make them in class over the next 3 weeks, or bring them in for firing before June 15.


Glazes will be supplied and applied on the day. To save time please bring your own soft brushes along (some are available on day.) Glazes will include copper matt, resist slip, saggars, and horsehair and feather techniques. All glaze recipes will be supplied.


Dress for safety

Students MUST wear non slip, enclosed shoes (leather best), long sleeves and trousers neck scarf, all made of non synthetic material; cotton, wool, silk best. Cotton overalls are good too.  Be fire safe as loose, synthetic clothing is a fire risk.  Remove jewellery when near kiln /fire as it heats up.

It can get very cold in Leura, so be sure to bring a woollen coat or jumper, rain gear (just in case) and a woollen beanie or cotton scarf to tie back hair and protect forehead. Safety leather aprons supplied


Rob has suggested that we have a Christmas in June themed lunch and cold drinks, bring your own lunch or bring a plate of goodies to share. NB:  we won’t get much time to stop during the day, so bring snacks and food that’s easy to eat on the go. But we WILL get time for tea, coffee and cakes! Bring your favourite coffee mug: Or buy one of Rob’s masterpieces as a collector piece.


Contact details: if you get lost when driving contact:

 Di – 0415414589

Or Rob – 0416 205 475

Masterclasses and Weekend Workshops

Workshops are led by professional, ceramic artists & master potters and are designed to teach you new and innovative skills such as sculptural ceramics, Raku firing, advanced throwing techniques, surface decorations, glazing etc.

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    Some of our previous workshops

    Pottery for Couples on Valentine’s Day 


    Couples were asked to “channel their inner Patrick Swayze or Demi Moore” by taking a couples’ pottery class, making it a perfect date on Valentine’s Day  for a unique and fun experience.

    Friday Night Chill Out Ceramics


    These Chill-Out nights provide a nice alternative to end of the week gatherings. You can bring a bottle of wine and some snacks and PCAI staff will provide you with a step by step pottery project that can be completed within the session.

    Getting the Most from Your Glazes

    Date: Sunday March 14


    Wonderful glaze workshop with the fabulous Rob Linigen (day 2) , 12 months to the day from last year covid lockdown. Lots of glaze test results revealed; demos of glaze application; glaze food safety; smoothing bases and much much more. Thank you Rob for sharing yr experience, wisdom and stories.


    Program overview

    “Getting the Most from Your Glazes”

    • Review and recording glaze tests
    • Selecting glazes for purpose
    • Packing and Firing for great results
    • Mixing glaze batches, adjusting and managed glaze thickness for consistent results
    • Glazing demonstration resists, dipping, making and using brushing glazes, spraying
    • Glaze troubleshooting
    • Grinding and finishing
    • Glaze Q&A

    About Rob Linigen

    Rob Linigen is a master potter and teacher passionate about experimenting with glaze and firing techniques. As former Senior Head Teacher Fine Arts, Nepean College WSI TAFE, he will help you to develop your skills in ceramics at the highest level.

    Rob Linigen Glaze Mixing Workshops


    Enrich your glaze surfaces with this 2 day workshop with Rob Linigen. Learn to mix your own
    cone 6 glazes, and extend your range of colours and surfaces. You’ll learn some basic glaze
    chemistry and practical testing methods to adapt and apply glazes to your clay and firing.
    Troubleshoot your glaze problems and learn to apply glaze consistently and creatively.

    Raku Firing 


    Raku ware is a type of Japanese pottery traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies, most often in the form of Chawan tea bowls. .

    Raku is a process in which work is removed from the kiln at bright red heat and subjected to post-firing reduction (or smoking) by being placed in containers of combustible materials.

    Teapot Workshop


    Students were instructed in the art of teapot assemble. Assemble leather- hard clay body , adding the spout , lid and handles. The use of sprigs, clay extrusions, textures and colours will personalise your teapot. The students were extremely pleased with their finishedpots.

    Mould Making for Slip casting


    Participants   learnt the basic techniques required to create a one –piece own mould and a more complex 2-part mould for slip casting under the instruction of our master mould maker.

    Somchai Charoen is a Thai born ceramic artist based in Sydney who has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Trained in industrial ceramic design, he was a former lecture at Silpakorn University, Thailand.

    Masters Workshop program :  Susie McMeekin.


    Over the course of the first 2 sessions Susie will demonstrate simple throwing, handling, turning, and throwing larger two- piece pots and teapots.

    You will get to try throwing while Susie will work with you on any problems that you may have preparing pots for firings and or glazing. The last session will cover some basic dipping and decorating hands-on glaze/ colouring techniques and Susie will respond to any questions that have arisen during the workshops.

    OWEN RYE MASTERCLASS – Little & Large


    Learn from a master potter in this 2-day masterclass at Clay Cliff Creek Studio.

    Owen Rye is best known for his beautiful wood-fired work that has been exhibited in Australia and internationally.

    This exciting masterclass will include demonstrations,instructional talks and hands-on wheelwork.