I was gifted a kiln and bought a pottery wheel. I have taken some ceramics classes and am in the beginning stages of learning how it all works. I would be really interested in watching a raku firing so if any body is planning one I would like to attend... I live in southern mn but i wouldnt mind driving to the metro. Let me know if you have any thing going on or if you have any tips for a beginner.
Raku is a fun process, and provides instant gratification. But since it involves REALLY hot stuff and needs to be done in a safe location and wearing the proper equipment, I'd recommend you find a way to take a class or workshop before tackling it on your own. You can watch stuff on YouTube, which will give you the basic techniques. But until you've actually heated that piece up until you can see it glowing hot and glistening in the kiln through your goggles, put on your long fireproof gloves and picked up your 3-foot tongs, opened the "furnace", grabbed that pot and put it into the can, watched the combustibles flame up and slammed the lid over it...all without getting your eyebrows singed off...well, I'll just say that it's quite an experience.
There's an artist co-op in Minneapolis which zenpotter participates in. You could D-Mail her and ask her is she knows of any members who do raku. Another option would be to check adult ed and college summer classes, as raku is often an activity they do here as a special summer workshop.
Check for local potters' websites that have raku pieces, as they may also teach or be involved in workshops.
Good luck and come back and let us know what you find!