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  #1  
Old 2006-04-28, 10:22pm
Dawn >^..^<'s Avatar
Dawn >^..^< Dawn >^..^< is offline
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Default The secrets of Raku Revealed

I've had quite a few people tell me lately that they just can't get any colors out of their Raku, and want to know what my secret is. Well I'll tell you, but you can't tell anyone else.....LOL!
I went through tubs of raku frit before figuring it out, so I'll give you a few tips on what works for me. And if anyone else has any tips, please feel free to chime in. But first, a little raku eye candy to get you motivated......









Okay, in a nutshell, it's all about heating it up super hot then chilling it real quick. Try this ...... Make a very small black barrel. Roll it in #0 raku frit and melt it in. Let the bead cool until it looses it's glow then super heat it until it gets that "white orange" glow. Take out of the flame and gently marver it with a graphite or brass tool. You will notice the raku turns black. THIS IS A GOOD THING! Now encase the bead in clear. You will start to see the colors develope as the bead looses it's glow. And even more gorgeous colors will appear when it's cooled and you take your bead out of the kiln.

The same thing applies to beads that you don't plan on encasing, but you may have to experiment a bit to know how hot to go before chilling.

To do a "Rainbow Dot".....make a bead, add a dot of raku with stringer, heat it and flatten it with a graphite or metal tool of your choosing, let the bead cool slightly then just barely heat the dot again, as soon as you see the edges of the dot start to well up flatten it again. This is what makes that little rainbow pattern in the dot. Then apply a drop of clear over the raku dot and tada!....You've got a raku rainbow!

Now get off that computer and go DO some RAKU!

Edited to say....You really need to read through this entire thread. There's tons of beautiful photos and great advise from not only myself, but lots of other members as well. But if you want my most up-to-date explanation of Raku in a nutshell, go to post #405 on page number 14. As time has gone by, I'm starting to figure out how to better put into words what I need to say about Raku. Print it out....Read it...Have fun with it, and don't forget to post photos of your gorgeous beads!
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Last edited by Dawn >^..^<; 2008-01-26 at 11:02am.
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  #2  
Old 2006-04-28, 10:27pm
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Nice beads, Dawn! I love those cones.
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  #3  
Old 2006-04-28, 10:37pm
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Thanks Kevan!!!
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  #4  
Old 2006-04-28, 10:41pm
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Can I ask what black you are making your twisties with? Oh, and what you are using to encase with? I want to encase some plain raku, but I only have 104.
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  #5  
Old 2006-04-28, 10:42pm
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Laurie L Laurie L is offline
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Awsome - just awsome. Thanks for your generosity !!! This is going to make a lot of people very happy, myself included. LOL
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  #6  
Old 2006-04-28, 10:48pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevan
Can I ask what black you are making your twisties with? Oh, and what you are using to encase with? I want to encase some plain raku, but I only have 104.
Sure! I used intense black stringers on a raku rod to do the twisties. They were my very first ones! Raku twisties, that is.
And I usually try to use Lauscha clear to encase with, but sometimes I break down and use this nice factory pulled Vetrofond stringer that I ordered a buttload of a while back when it was on sale.
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  #7  
Old 2006-04-28, 10:49pm
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Oh, thanks!!
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  #8  
Old 2006-04-28, 11:28pm
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Thank you for the great tips Dawn! My problem is when I think its hot enough, I also start to lose the shape or I don't get the cool colors until the raku stringer has spread a great deal and I would rather have thinner detail lines. My stringers are pretty thin, a mil or less. Maybe I'm overheating? Those rainbow dots are very cool!
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  #9  
Old 2006-04-28, 11:34pm
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Just rated my first thread!! This is SUPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much...I have been playing with raku all week...getting better, but I copied every word and tomorrow WILL be a better raku day!! Thanks, Dawn...
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  #10  
Old 2006-04-28, 11:46pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari'elle
Thank you for the great tips Dawn! My problem is when I think its hot enough, I also start to lose the shape or I don't get the cool colors until the raku stringer has spread a great deal and I would rather have thinner detail lines. My stringers are pretty thin, a mil or less. Maybe I'm overheating? Those rainbow dots are very cool!
Okay....maybe we can fix that too. To get good colors out of your scroll work without having it spread too much, try this.

Make your bead and apply the raku scrollwork or lines or whatever, but leave it raised. Spot heat your raku design and chill and flatten with a little metal spatula or butter knife. Heat and chill and flatten until you've coaxed some colors out of the raku. At this point you can gently heat your bead back up to a low glow to shape it up or squish it in a press, just being careful not to get it too hot again.

Once you've "chilled" the colors into your raku, it will stay there unless you overheat it, and then it could go back to browns again.
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  #11  
Old 2006-04-28, 11:50pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittypat
Just rated my first thread!! This is SUPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much...I have been playing with raku all week...getting better, but I copied every word and tomorrow WILL be a better raku day!! Thanks, Dawn...
Woohoo! I got Stars!!! Thanks!
And happy raku-ing at the torch tomorrow!
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  #12  
Old 2006-04-28, 11:56pm
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Thank you Dawn! That's exactly what I'm doing wrong, trying to keep it all hot at once. Many times I've lost the color and had to start all over. I guess I was more worried about getting the bead too cold and cracking it. You've given me all kinds of great ideas to play with after Shabbat. I was starting to get frustrated and decided I would back shelf the raku for awhile, but it keeps calling me...
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  #13  
Old 2006-04-28, 11:57pm
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I didn't know we could rate threads (newbie here); this is my first one. Cool!
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  #14  
Old 2006-04-29, 1:43am
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Great tips Dawn, thanks heaps!
Although, I've tried superheating, get the raku going so dark I can't see it, and can't get any more colour to come back....! What's happening there? Some designs I don't want to encase and I get frustrated when the raku 'dissapears' on me.... Any ideas?

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  #15  
Old 2006-04-29, 8:26am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelley
Great tips Dawn, thanks heaps!
Although, I've tried superheating, get the raku going so dark I can't see it, and can't get any more colour to come back....! What's happening there? Some designs I don't want to encase and I get frustrated when the raku 'dissapears' on me.... Any ideas?

Shelley
Sydney Australia
While encasing raku is almost fool proof, NOT encasing raku can sometimes require a little more coaxing. Here's what I do. Once the raku is too dark, I let the bead cool just a bit until it totally looses it's glow. Then I bring it back into the flame and heat it good and hot (but not "white hot") again and the flame seems to suck the color back out of it.....but then you need to spot chill it again to get some of the color back.

The part of this whole raku thing that I had the hardest time with was allowing myself to put a bead in the kiln that looked like it had black raku on it. I had one bead in particular that had scroll work on it that looked black. The next day when I pulled it out of the kiln, what was ugly black had turned to a most awesome red with blue and green edges!

That's why I say it takes a little experimenting to know how it should look while it's still hot to get the results you want once it's cooled down. Make some tiny test beads trying different things and let them air cool so you see what the results are right away. Then pick one you like and try to do the same thing again. Once you get used to knowing what to look for, you can move on to that big fabulous set!
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  #16  
Old 2006-04-29, 8:50am
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raku rox! another thing I'll add is try this ... make a barrel .... get some semi thick raku stringer and go from side to side "coiling" it around the bead ... do what you wish on the ends .... as soon as you get the raku on ... do not super heat or touch a marver .... just burn it in as you would any other stringer ... again ... try not to super heat it .... now clear it as you would any other bead .... I use the "coil" method with 3 to 4 mm Lau. stringer ... the result always varies because of how much heat you used as you melted the stringer in. I've gotten a very "velvet" type green .... and a tripy cosmos type green look. Try it , you'll like it Be Blessed and 5 star thread , thnx for doing it!
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  #17  
Old 2006-04-29, 8:56am
joyce-l-o joyce-l-o is offline
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Default raku base colrs

Hi Dawn,
What base colors do you use with the raku? Also what c.o.e? Thanks Joyce
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  #18  
Old 2006-04-29, 9:21am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueflameart
raku rox! another thing I'll add is try this ... make a barrel .... get some semi thick raku stringer and go from side to side "coiling" it around the bead ... do what you wish on the ends .... as soon as you get the raku on ... do not super heat or touch a marver .... just burn it in as you would any other stringer ... again ... try not to super heat it .... now clear it as you would any other bead .... I use the "coil" method with 3 to 4 mm Lau. stringer ... the result always varies because of how much heat you used as you melted the stringer in. I've gotten a very "velvet" type green .... and a tripy cosmos type green look. Try it , you'll like it Be Blessed and 5 star thread , thnx for doing it!
Ooooo! Thanks Chad! That sounds very cool. Now we need to see a picture!!!
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  #19  
Old 2006-04-29, 9:27am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joyce-l-o
Hi Dawn,
What base colors do you use with the raku? Also what c.o.e? Thanks Joyce
Hi Joyce,
I use all soft glass, 104 coe. And you can use any color for the base, but my favorite is black. I like the way the colors POP against the black. Cobalt is nice too.....and some colors react with the raku causing it to be outlined in black, like ivory, coral and turquoise. I guess it all depends on the look you're going for. I've never met a raku bead that I didn't like....LOL!
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  #20  
Old 2006-04-29, 9:35am
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Wha a great tips, I just bought 3 jars of Raku from heritage and Connie Fox, I manage to get some colors out, but wonder what is the best way. Thank you for your generosity to share dawn! Lovely lovely beads you got there. Yummie!

Oh, I looove the raku rainbow dots! I will give it a try soon!

.
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  #21  
Old 2006-04-29, 9:56am
Dawn >^..^<'s Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevan
Can I ask what black you are making your twisties with? Oh, and what you are using to encase with? I want to encase some plain raku, but I only have 104.
Oh, oh oh!!! Now that I'm actually AWAKE, I just re-read you question, and I understand now that you want to encase "Pure" raku......

I tried with Lauscha but of course the bead cracked, so now I just use a 104 coe base rolled in raku powder for almost the same effect, with less risk of the bead cracking.

To encase pure raku, you would need to use a clear that is closer to the coe of raku, like maybe system 96 or Kugler?? I myself prefer to encase with small stringer sized rods of 2-3mm, and I haven't found any that small that would be compatible with the raku. So I've been sticking to the "rolling it in powder" method.

Sorry for the confusion....
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  #22  
Old 2006-04-29, 8:41pm
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have you tried Pi - glass - I am not sure what happened to them lately but they are 96 COE and I have some
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  #23  
Old 2006-04-29, 9:23pm
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Fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing. Dawn!

I do have to say, though....in defense of Raku in it's natural state... I like the khaki it makes!
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  #24  
Old 2006-04-29, 9:41pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emeraldartistry
have you tried Pi - glass - I am not sure what happened to them lately but they are 96 COE and I have some
Bridget
Hi Briget,
No, actually I haven't ever heard of Pi Glass, but then again, I really need to get out more!....LOL!
I have trouble encasing with larger diameter rods, so if I ever find any 96coe clear in small diameter rods, like 2-3mm, I would surely try it.
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  #25  
Old 2006-04-29, 9:44pm
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Dawn >^..^< Dawn >^..^< is offline
Mmmmm....Raku
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Naos*
Fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing. Dawn!

I do have to say, though....in defense of Raku in it's natural state... I like the khaki it makes!
Oh Amber, I totally agree! Raku on white is one of my favorites for my seashells. I try to leave it in it's natural, "unteased" state for the gorgeous hues of browns and russets.
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  #26  
Old 2006-05-01, 11:45am
sassy sassy is offline
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Thanks for this great info. I have 5 fars of raku sitting on a shelf because I could never get it to work well. I think I'll try again.
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  #27  
Old 2006-05-01, 12:48pm
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Limelight Limelight is offline
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Thanks, this has been a great help...I've had to settle for only the tans and browns...Going to try again.
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Old 2006-05-01, 5:28pm
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Dawn, i do believe i love you!

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Old 2006-05-01, 7:19pm
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Dawn, I just wanted you to know that the next morning I made 12 raku beads, and 10 turned out just right!!! Thank you so much for the help...if I can ever figure out how to post a pix, I will show you!! This entire thread, including comments from others helped me a lot...thanks again, pat
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Old 2006-05-01, 7:29pm
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I made some twisites with the intense black. They look pretty neat. I encased it with vetrofond.
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