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Alternative Kilns & Firing Techniques: Raku * Saggar * Pit * Barrel (A Lark Ceramics Book) Paperback – September 28, 2006


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Alternative Kilns & Firing Techniques: Raku * Saggar * Pit * Barrel (A Lark Ceramics Book) + Mastering Raku: Making Ware * Glazes * Building Kilns * Firing (A Lark Ceramics Book) + 250 Tips, Techniques, and Trade Secrets for Potters: The Indispensable Compendium of Essential Knowledge and Troubleshooting Tips
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Product Details

  • Series: A Lark Ceramics Book
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Crafts (September 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579909523
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579909529
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Gadget Fan TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very worthwhile and contentful book, just not what it seemed from the brief desciption. Hopefully this clarification is helpful to others:

This book's editorial description, along with the title, seem to suggest that its focus is in how to create various homemade ad hoc kilns (for those that don't have ready access to a kiln already). It talks about kiln building, and never uses the word raku.

Basically, however, this is a raku book, with lots of interesting variations. "Barrel" and "pit" kilns (mentioned in the subtitle) turn out to be just more forms of raku, rather than new kinds of homemade kilns. It contains many creative firing ideas with wonderful results, generously shared by a number of contributors. Along the way, of course, they do tell you how to put together firing chambers for these firing techniques. So it does provide some alternative kiln construction guidance with variations, but not the quantity I was expecting. And the firing techniques were an unexpected bonus.

In style, this is a thin "coffee-table book" - lots of great photos, widely set lines of type, artistic white space. But the content is fascinating and invaluable to anyone who wants to do firings that are more interesting than simply closing the door and turning on the heat. Initially, I was disappointed when I saw how the content of the book was padded out with white space, but after I started reading I realized how much great information was in it.

I would like to see much more expanded content (not counting the gallery & appendices, it is 89 pages). However, this does provide plenty of ideas to try for quite some while. I just need to find a different alternnative kiln book for when I'm not doing raku style firings. (The publisher could really help out here, by giving the table of contents, which really does give an accurate idea of the book content).
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By R. BOGLE on April 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just received this book and it is absolutely one of the best Raku books going! It is well laid out with many high quality pictures showing the technique or concept being presented. Covers much more than raku with many other firing techniques. Has a fantastic picture gallery with fine examples of pieces created with the techniques in the book and a glaze recipe section with references back to the pieces the recipes were used on.
A must have for anyone interested in raku or any of the related firing techniques!
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By claydude on August 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
What a wonderful book. As a ceramic sculptor, I appreciate the Raku, Pit, Barrel and Saggar firing methods. It gives one enough of the technical details of the how-to's of each of the firing methods (and how to build a raku kiln, and barrel and pit kilns) to get one started. It also "fires" up one's imagination to expand the contents of the book and to push your work to another level. This book presents beautiful examples of what "Alternative Firing Techniques" can produce.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By potterwitch on July 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is my favorite book of all my ceramic books and I have more than a few! If you don't want to spend the money for a high fire gas or propane kiln (and who does in this economy!) then this book will guide your exploration into different ways of finishing your clay creations. I tried the barrel firing (without the terra sigillata, just burnishing) by Linda Keleigh and was able to sell the resulting products. This is a good hands on book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shirley A. Potter on June 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Faintly disappointing. I thought this would be a good addition to my library, but for the most part is very light on details. It has directions for building kilns, saggers, etc., but unless a person has already worked in at least helping with these alternative types of firing, I don't believe it conveys the haste necessary for firing success. Once a kiln gets up to temp, the loads move through the process with great urgency. I would not expect a novice to read this book and complete the process with a sense of satisfaction.

Not a complete waste, as it describes in laymen's terms the different types of firing ceramic work, so it will be the book I bring out to show customers who purchase my raku work. Some great pics of artist's work, and a glossy presentation make it easy on the eyes. So, if you've worked in raku before and have thought about building your own kiln, this has enough info to do that and this book might be enough to get you to try other alternative ways of firing clay.

If you are interested in learning raku, find a potter in your area that works in raku and ask if you can assist with a firing or two. I believe you'll need hands-on experience to make this book as valuable as it can be.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carol L. Gerster on November 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
I was so excited to get this book. It was exactly what I had been looking for. The techniques are easily explained so even a novice like me can understand. Of all the books I have on ceramic techniques, this one will get the most use. I can't wait to get my supplies gathered so I can start using it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Fredrick C. on November 18, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Has some real nice photos, a few good Raku ideas that make the book worth wile.
Gives the average person a very good overview in bare bones terms, and the experienced a couple of techniques to try.
If you just looking at building a Raku kiln. I have found equivalent or better designs on the web. Enjoyable to read for a tech manual. Inexpensive well worth the price.
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Alternative Kilns & Firing Techniques: Raku * Saggar * Pit * Barrel (A Lark Ceramics Book)
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