Kenwood Elementary School Students Experience Raku Art


By Katie Stinson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Elementary students are learning an ancient art form at Kenwood Elementary School in Cedar Rapids. The kids are working with Japanese Raku kilns.

Unlike traditional kilns, Raku kilns create random smoky patterns on clay pottery pieces, which can be quite spectacular.

"You heat the pots really, really fast to 2000 degrees then pull them out with tongs. There is as much theater as there is art," Ceramics Center Executive Director Ben Jensen said.

This is a multi-classroom project. Students learned the chemistry behind Raku in science class.They they talked about the 600-year-old Japanese tradition in history and wrote about the experience in language arts.

Students at the Linn Grove Elementary School in Marion will also learn about Raku later this month.

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