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Barney's raku retreats

Glazed bisque ware and "mummy" saggars above

About the Course

I will be leading two, three day Raku Retreats this summer for up to six people each.

​Raku is a low temperature, fast firing technique originating in Japan that produces dramatic and unpredictable surface effects. The retreat is suitable for anyone with little or no experience of alternative firing techniques, but who can bring their own bisque ware (see below). The word Raku in Japanese means ease, pleasure and enjoyment, and it is in this manner that we approach the work, ourselves, each other and the beautiful countryside on this truly unique retreat! Although there is local accommodation, I do encourage you to camp with us so that you can be close to nature throughout the whole retreat.

During the workshops you will learn:

- ​How to make and use terra sigilatta to burnish your work prior to bisque firing
- The making and firing of a basic Raku kiln
- Saggar Firing, Glazed Raku firing, Indian smoke technique, Horsehair and feather technique, Barrel firing

​We will mostly be focusing on “Naked” Raku techniques which means that the bisque ware is not glazed prior to Raku firing so that the burnished surface absorbs markings created by smoke, fumes or soluble chemicals. The work is usually then sealed and polished with clear furniture wax.

If you have a particular technique you would like to try, please contact me and we can discuss if it is suitable to include in the workshop.

The workshops will be held in Barney’s Barn, a large Norfolk thresher barn in the village of Barney with outbuildings, gardens and concrete patio allowing complete freedom to explore the endless possibilities of Raku firing, whatever the weather. We will be camping at Old Brick Kilns , an award winning campsite just twenty minutes walk away.

The workshops will run between 10am and 5pm. After the end of each workshop we will discuss the days work and then wind down with some Yin yoga and meditation (both optional), before heading back to the campsite for dinner at Barney’s restaurant.

This retreat requires that you bring your own bisque fired work of a ‘modest’ size. The work must be well constructed in a suitable Raku clay and be coated with a polished terra sigilatta (TS) surface applied prior to bisque firing. If you are unable to bring your own work and if requested with plenty of notice, you can purchase test tiles and tea bowls already bisque fired and applied with TS.

Price for retreat: £349 per person, to include on each of the three days:


Raku materials including use of safety gear


Tea, coffee and biscuits throughout the day




Things to bring:

Work to be Raku fired

Tent (possibility to hire if necessary)

Not included:

Transport to and from Barney’s Barn. Trains run from London Kings Cross to Kings Lynn (Approx £40 return. 1hr 40mins), then a taxi costs approx. £25 to Barney.

Further info will be emailed to you after booking which will include an intro to Raku and the techniques you will learn, Instructions for preparation of bisque work, provisional time tables, transport details and suggested things to bring.

For queries and bookings for something completely different and unique this summer please contact me.

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

Included on each of the three days:

Raku materials including use of safety gear
Tea, coffee and biscuits throughout the day


Barnaby Hosking at MAP Studios
Barney's Barn, The Street, Barney, Fakenham, Norfolk
NR21 0NN
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Suitable for

  • Accommodation offered
  • Parking provided
  • Residential
  • UK Holiday

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Three days

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