Feeling the Creative Heat?

The Fruits of Summer by workshop instructor Diane Tesler.

There’s exactly one month until summer classes start, but this week’s 90-degree temperatures have us feeling the summer heat already.

Heat, it turns out, is also an important part of an artist’s toolkit. Here are a few of our classroom demos where temperature plays a role:

Raku firing

In this video, Art League ceramics chair Blair Meerfeld fires ceramic work using the raku process. After the raku ware is heated in a kiln until red-hot, the pieces are placed in metal cans filled with combustible material, like newspaper. The paper ignites and the smoke completes the process:

  • The raku firing workshop is not currently on our schedule, but stay tuned for raku firing opportunities!
  • You can create work suitable for the raku kiln in any ceramics class. Our ceramics department also fires work in electric, gas reduction, and sometimes woodfired kilns. See all our ceramics classes →

Heat-coloring copper

The sculpture classroom sees plenty of heat when we hold our Metal Sculpture classes. In this demo, Brian Kirk shows how easily a torch’s heat can create interesting coloration on copper:

Encaustic photo transfer

Beeswax, pigment, and heat are the critical ingredients for painting in the ancient medium of encaustic. For our encaustic workshop, the jewelry studio becomes a painting studio for a few days. Warm wax allows for some interesting transfer techniques, like the simple photo transfer here:

Color study painting

For an exploration of temperature as it relates to color choices, you can’t go wrong with a color study. In this demo, artist Danni Dawson shows how to build a portrait starting with some pretty wild colors:

Summer is nearly here! Classes (and Summer Art Camp) start the week of June 19 or later. Browse the full catalog online.

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