About Raku

"Raku"  is  the  ancient  Japanese  method  of  firing  pottery.
After  each  clay  piece  is  made,  it will   dry  for  few days  and then  it  will be bisque  fired .This firing will take about
6 hours. Then  the piece  is glazed  with  certain  glazes that contain metal  salts  and oxides and they are  formulated to create a metallic look when the piece is completed. Now the piece is ready for he second firing, which is the Raku firing.
The  Raku  firing takes  place  inside  a  gas  kiln  and  will  take  less  than  an hour.  When  the temperature  reaches 1750 - 1850  degrees Fahrenheit and  the  piece is  red hot, it will  immediately  be removed from the kiln with either special gloves or long tongs .  The piece  is placed inside a  metal container  full of  combustible materials, like papers ,sawdust,  leaves or grass.  All the combustible materials will ignite right away,  the flames and  the  smoke  hit the  piece in different directions and react with the Raku glaze to create very  unique colors.  The container is sealed very tight  immediately  and  this  exposes  the  piece  to  a  reduced  oxygen atmosphere.  After 15-20  minutes   the  piece  is  removed  from  the container.  Any portion of the  piece that has not been glazed will turn black because of the oxygen reduction.

Raku firing is very unpredictable. No two pieces will come out the same, even  if the same glaze is used on both.

The  Raku  fired  pieces  are  mostly  decorative  pieces.  They  are  not recommended to be used for food because the clay remains porous.

Each Raku fired piece is  a-one-of-a-kind  work of Art. Because of the special  glazes and  the  process  of  firing , it cannot  be duplicated, so it is a unique piece.