animated atmosphere reigned on the wide terrace behind the Ilim University
Girne/Ozanköy, experimental mood among the guests and participants of the Naked
Raku Workshop led by Şirin Koçak.
art is a wide field, from pottery to sculpting; different kinds and
compositions of clay, its use depending on what one wants to do, different
techniques in glazing and firing, and it is about the firing and the pre- and
post-processing of the ware in the workshop. It is called:
raku technique …. it gets its racy name because during the process of firing,
the outer shell of slip that was applied falls off revealing the “naked” surface
of the pot, plate or any other form underneath.
Koçak had explained this very special technique to the participants and under
her guidance the work was done on forms she had brought with her. The decorated
forms – paper tape was used to decorate the forms, scratching and cutting –
were then covered with slip, that is liquid white clay plus some other
ingredients and placed in the gas-fired kiln. The firing itself at about 900°C
did not take longer than 30 minutes I was told.
the lid was opened, the participants came all together curious to see what came
out of the heat. With long tongs the ware was taken out, what a heat, and
dipped into cold water, then covered with wood chips. The ‘black shell’ fell
off and/or was removed and the ‘naked surface’ is revealed. Looks like craquelé,
following link is the facebook site of Şirin Koçak.
Saturday, at 11:00 hrs you will be able to see the finished pieces at the same
The exhibition of the ‘Naked RAKU Technique’ on Saturday
morning at the Ilim University October 14, 2017:
I came early to have room for taking pictures and met the 18
participants doing last arrangements of their art works; they were all very
satisfied with the results and it all looked very beautiful and interesting. I
spoke to Şirin
Koçak who has been working with many workshops of this kind on an international
basis as you can read in her biography under the link above. It is to admire
that within one and a half days such terrific results could be achieved and on
top of that arrange an exhibition. All hands had helped together, also people
from the University, headed by the rector Prof.
Dr. Ahmet Bülend Göksel, who was present during the workshop most of the time
and had a try himself. 30 kg of slip was produced and used and altogether 19
loads in the gas fired kiln were done in this short time, considering that one
firing process took about 30 minutes, however with unloading and reloading it
was double the time. Luckily they had two kilns that could be used.
The workshop was initiated by the North Cyprus Ceramists’
Association in order to continue to inform as they have done for the last 20
years, to teach and to practice techniques and to promote ceramic art in
Gezer Dündar, one of the participants opened the exhibition with a resumé on
the work done and concluded with thanks to the leader of the workshop Şirin
Koçak, to the Rector of the Ilim University and the participants – their names
you can read on the poster.
Rector Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bülend Göksel
finally opened the exhibition and helped distributing - together with Ülviye Percinci Oksu - the certificates of
participation. The exhibition ended with much laughter, selfies and group
photos to have something to remember.
compliments to this well done workshop and to the results.