National Sculpture Factory


6th—20th July 2024

Raku Workshop with Bernadette Tuite

A two-day Raku Workshop led by Bernadette Tuite, with Catherine Callanan
Saturday 6th & Saturday 20th July | 9:30AM – 5PM | €320

Raku firing is a centuries-old ceramic technique characterised by lustrous visual effects that are spontaneous and unrepeatable. A wonderful creative dialogue between the artist, clay and fire. The term raku is of Japanese origin and means “joy”, “happiness”, “glory of the day” and is closely related to the philosophy of Zen-Buddhism.
This workshop is divided into two sessions spread across two weeks to account for the drying and firing time necessary in the raku process. On Day One participants will hand-build their pieces under the expert tuition of ceramic artist Bernadette Tuite, ready for drying and bisque firing. Raku firing takes place on Day Two; this will be a fun and very hands-on day with the smoke and alchemy of the kiln. After glazing the pieces, they will be fired in the raku kiln up to 950c. They will be taken out while red hot and placed in bins lined with saw dust, creating amazing metallic colours and smoke effects on the work. Day Two will conclude with the finishing processes for your Raku piece and a group chat about the process and its magical effects on your own creation now ready to take home.


Additional information


  • This two-day workshop is available only for adults.
  • A minimum of 8 students is required for this workshop to go ahead and we will contact you in advance if for any reason the workshop cannot go ahead, and issue refunds.
  • The workshop fee includes including all materials, equipment, and firings. It also includes annual NSF membership as everyone working on the Factory floor is required to be a member for insurance purposes.
  • This workshop is weather dependant for Day Two. This is the Raku Kiln Firing Day and the kiln can only be set up outside and can be weather dependent. The workshop will be a mixture of inside and outside and We will rescheduled the firing day if by chance there is  wet weather.
  • You will be required to wear work clothes – clothes that you don’t mind getting a little messy. Please bring an apron or towel and wear closed-toe shoes/work-boots.
  • Your beautiful handmade items will be ready to take home at the end of Day Two.

We take photographs during some of our workshop and these photographs may be shared as content on our website and social media platforms. If you do not wish to have your photograph taken and shared please let us know in advance before the workshop begins.

Bernadette Tuite received a B.A (Hons) Contemporary Applied Art, Ceramics, Glass & Textiles from Crawford College of Art & Design in 2018, and was the CCAD Ceramic Department Resident Artist for September ’18 to June ’19.
Bernadette’s ceramic work revolves around articulating her explorations by sea into hidden, undeniably beautiful sea sculpted places, through her sculptural Ceramic vessels. She endeavours to express this beauty and vulnerability of the extraordinary energy of water on rock into her ceramic vessels.
Bernadette was a ship’s captain for many years in California. Today her affinity with the ocean is reflected in her ceramic vessels, photography and glass work which emulates and celebrates County Cork seascapes discovered while kayaking along the local Atlantic coastline.
Catherine Callanan is an award-winning mixed media artist. After a 20 year career in education, working with ‘at risk’ students and their families, Callanan returned to college to formally focus on her more creative endeavours. She studied Textiles, Ceramic and Glass while undertaking her BA Contemporary Applied Art in Crawford College of Art and Design, MTU, Cork followed by Fine Art MA in Art and Process.
Callanan’s work is research based but material focused. The work explores interpersonal relationships from a female perspective. She delves into the intergenerational baggage carried by women. Always encouraging a tactile element, her work engages the viewer in a physical and emotional experience designed to challenge. Callanan is interested in the complex and often unpredictable process of making and the purposeful inclusion of imperfections. Her work often focuses on the unseen and misrepresented.