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people lighting a pottery piece in a fire
A raku firing at Raku Hoʻolauleʻa 2019.

Gallery ʻIolani at Windward Community College fires things up by sharing works from the Hawaiʻi Craftsmen’s 42nd annual Raku Hoʻolauleʻa 2019. The Raku Hoʻolauleʻa exhibition opens on November 8, highlighting artwork from the three-day community ceramics workshop that was held at Camp Mokulēʻia on the North Shore in September. The exhibit includes 82 works created by 42 artists.

Founded in 1977, the annual Raku Hoʻolauleʻa ceramics workshop, firing and beachside campout is produced by the Hawaiʻi Craftsmen. The event encourages participation in raku and pit firing techniques and brings together ceramic artists from Burn-Outs, Hawaiʻi Potters Guild, Krackpots, Windward Community College, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and more.

“Raku Hoʻolauleʻa is an exhibition showing ingenuity, creativity and imagination demonstrating that ceramic art is alive and well in Hawaiʻi,” said Gallery Director Toni Martin. “The exhibit presents the range of elegant, traditional and playful examples of masterful artists working in the medium of raku creating a feast for the eyes and joy for the soul.”

raku pottery piece
Ian Nash, Beneath the Sea,, Wheel Thrown Raku.

Jurying works

Objects glazed and fired at the beach were juried by experts in both contemporary and traditional raku categories for this exhibition. Hawaiʻi ceramic artist and educator Bob McWilliams juried artworks in the contemporary raku category. Hitoshi Murata, tea instructor of Urasenke Foundation Hawaiʻi, juried works for the traditional raku category.

“Most potters would agree that raku, pit firing and many of the other techniques employed push us toward the more spontaneous and adventurous style of making pottery,” said McWilliams. “This also makes it more difficult to evaluate and jury an exhibit… I thought of a few ways to approach choosing a wide-range of well-executed pieces: a concentration on high quality, a focus on intention in one’s work and innovative ideas concerning subject matter, design and techniques.”

Exhibit Information

The exhibit is free and will be open from November 8 to December 5 with an opening artist reception and awards ceremony on November 8, 4–7 p.m. The gallery is open Monday–Friday and Sunday, 1–5 p.m.

For more information about the exhibition, contact Gallery ʻIolani Director Toni Martin at (808) 236-9155.

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