Thursday, 7 March 2013

Raku Process


The term Raku is loosely used to define a style of pottery or a type of firing method derived from an ancient Oriental process developed over 400 years ago. While "modern raku" is related to Japanese raku through the adaptation of the technique, the aesthetic of most contemporary work is totally unrelated to traditional Japanese work.

Pieces are placed in the kiln and heated to almost 2000 degrees in a very short period of time.  Once up to temperature, the kiln is opened and using tongs, the pots are removed from the inferno. As the glowing vessel is hit by the cool air outside the kiln, the severe temperature change produces the cracks in the glaze. Upon leaving the kiln, the glowing pot is placed directly into an airtight container ("reduction chamber") filled with leaves, pine needles, or the like, which highlights the valuable cracks in the glaze. When the colors are deemed "just right", the vessel (often still over 1,000 degrees) is then plunged into cold water to halt the process.

Each piece is truly one of a kind. Seldom watertight, Raku is actually a very poor choice for food or a flower vase; it is pottery apart from utility or function.

Raku is a daring process, and many pots may explode during some phase of the firing.
Visit my website - to see some of my Raku pieces.

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