Raku Experiments

From the moment I set eyes on Raku pottery, I loved it.  Even before I understood the process, I knew I wanted to experiment with it.  Just look at this piece made by Chris Hawkins.  Isn’t it awesome?  This is a copper matte glaze and my favorite.

Chris Hawkins Jar

In the Raku process, basically, the pots are removed from the kiln while red hot and placed in a combustible material such as wood chips, pinestraw, leaves, or paper.  The resultant flames and smoke create beautiful colors or crackled surfaces, depending on the glaze applied.  Smoke fills the cracks and unglazed portions of the pots, yielding rich, velvety blacks in those areas.  It’s just a magical process.

Danny built a great portable Raku kiln that can be rolled outside and heated with propane.  This is the setup we used.  Note the metal cans where the pots will be placed after they reach temperature.

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Now we begin the experimentation – trying out different glazes, firing times, and combustible materials until we find what works best for us.  I’m a process person; I love the process and working toward what I need to do to obtain a desired result.

A peek inside the kiln as the pots are coming up to temperature:

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These are the results from our first 2 firings.  Pretty, I think.  Not yet where I want to be, but getting there.

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Can’t wait for the next day off work so we can do this again!

 

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