Raku Pottery in Olon Beach Town, everyone is welcome

This is a Raku Pottery workshop that is for people in the beach town of Olon or close towns, also from people from Cuenca or close cities that might want to have a vacation in a very beautiful beach town of Olon, while having a nice time with a warm climate and sunny days. Ideal for being away while Cuenca is rainy and cold. We can recommend every type of budget accommodations and transportation, contact us for more information.


Raku experience workshop on the Ecuadorian coast.
Would you like to learn the beautiful ceramic art of raku while you know the beautiful beach of Olon?
Taller La Montaña en el Mar is pleased to invite all beings interested in learning the magical ceramic art of “Raku”, an ancient Japanese technique and one of the greatest styles of ceramics in Japan. The workshop is for people with or without experience in ceramics, foreigners and locals. It will be dictated by Holly Deckard,
José Cobos and assisted by Martina Vega. The workshop will be held over two weekends.

The workshop will be held in the beach town of Olon, province of Santa Elena, very warm weather with a beautiful beach and more places to visit close to it. A very beautiful place where you can do many vacation activities in addition to enjoying its beautiful beach, such as horseback riding, bike rides, surfing, you can see some very beautiful waterfalls or visit several of the beaches near Olon. If you plan to come from Cuenca in a group, contact the organization to recommend the best lodging places, Cuenca-Olon transport or any other details that you have doubts about, we can help you.

The Raku technique originated in Japan by a potter named Chojiro, who, experimenting found a peculiar way of firing his ceramic pieces; later this had new additions to his technique from the West. This Japanese technique originated in the 16th century and is a technique that traditionally creates pieces modeled by hand, without a wheel.

Essentially the glazed piece is burned at a violent rate at over 900 °C, burning can last between 20 to 30 minutes. When the pieces are removed from the oven they are incandescent, in the Japanese tradition they would be left to cool in the open air or sprayed with water, however the contribution of the West was the reduction chamber. By taking the pieces glowing from the heat, they are placed in metal containers where there are organic flammable materials such as straw, sawdust, newspaper, among others, when placed in this container they set fire to everything around them, leaving it to burn for about 10 min, then quickly you cover the container to produce a very strong oxygen reaction that reduces the glazes of the pieces to almost pure metal, thus leaving unique finishes, such as iridescence, crackle and pearlescent.

Holly Deckard is an artist originally from Saint Louis, Missouri, United States. She specializes in pottery and sculpture finished with the Raku technique. She got to know ceramics through a workshop she joined, where she fell in love with working with clay, exploring the science and art that it has. Leaving her job as a dietician she decided to be a full-time ceramic artist and Raku specialist. What she loves about the Raku technique is definitely the unpredictability and beauty of the piece’s finish, and the connection to fire. Her pieces have been part of some online and physical exhibitions, in Missouri, Illinois, Florida and Minnesotta. Finally, Holly arrived in Cuenca, Ecuador in August 2021, eager to share her knowledge with locals and expats. She found in Taller La Montaña en el Mar a small, growing ceramic community, of which she is now part of.

José Cobos is a multidisciplinary architect-artist from Cuenca, with a focus on ceramic sculpture, he has been working in clay for 3 years and has been teaching hand modeling for a year in his workshop in Cuenca-Ecuador. As an artist he seeks to work in any medium, from animation to street art. In ceramic sculpture, his approach begins with play and experimentation, creating images brought from the dream world, often mixing analog and digital work, either through digital illustrations (Obra Naku, 2020) or 3D digital rendering (Divino Kid, 2021). This digital analog symbiosis comes from the reflection of art in the present and its hybrid reality.

Martina Vega, graphic designer, animator and potter. She has been working in ceramics for 2 years, and has her Piponas de Barro smokeware brand in partnership with José Cobos. She comes from a family of artists that has surrounded her with lines, colors and textures all her life. She was a finalist in the Yaku Museo Quito short film show last year.

Martina and José have received an honorable mention in design and craft innovation at the Ardis 2022 fair and exhibition organized by the Inter-American Center for Popular Crafts and Arts, CIDAP.
The workshop will begin the weekend of April 23 and 24 and ends on May 1st.

There are two possible modalities to take:
1. Full Workshop:

This workshop will be held from April 23 to 24 from 10 AM to 1 PM, we will make our ceramic pieces from scratch so you will have ceramic hand modeling classes under the various basic construction and modeling techniques. Both days there will be 3-hour sessions for the creation of our pieces. The pieces to be made may be utilitarian or sculptural, taking into account that if they are utilitarian they can be 3 or 4 pieces, and if it is sculptural it could take more time, so it could be only one piece or a maximum of two for the duration. This part of the workshop will be dictated by José and Martina.
On May 1st we will have the glaze session for the day (9 AM to 1 PM) (no glazes will be made that day, but each student will have a copy of the glaze recipes). And in the afternoon (5PM) we will raku fire of the pieces created by you. Holly Deckard will lead this part of the workshop.

The cost of the entire workshop will be $120 dollars and includes: Raku clay and glazes, bisque and raku firing, tools borrowed from our workshop, recipes for glazes, hand building and raku firing knowledge and all the pieces you make in the workshop will go with you.

2. Basic Workshop:

This modality will only take place on May 1st, where you will receive two ceramic pieces created by Holly Deckard and you will be able to glaze them as you want and later raku fire them in the afternoon together with all the other students.

The cost of the basic workshop will be $50 dollars and includes:
Two Pieces, one small and one medium, raku glazes, raku burning, learning how to apply glazes and
learning about raku firing.

No experience is necessary to join the workshop, but of course, experienced potters and artists are also welcome to participate. This workshop is for adults and teens only.

Location : Shanti Mandir Condo, close to Olonche condo, Olon Beach Town, Santa Elena Province address instruction will be given when asked for further details.

23th, 24th of April 10 AM to 1 PM 1st of may 10 AM to 1 PM AND 4 to 8 PM, $120-$50, Close to Olon Beach Town, Shanti Mandir Condo, Olon.

Jose Cobos: lamontanaenelmar@gmail.com +593 99 866 1486

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