Monday, December 17, 2012

Raku

That's me on the left. In order to know when to pull the pots out of the kiln you actually have to look inside to see how the glaze is settling.

video
 I have been taking a break from painting for awhile and exploring  my interests in raku pottery. Pictured is the small gas kiln (claydog.com) I used and the pits where the vessels find their color. A Raku firing is an interesting process. It originated in Japan with Zen monks and stresses natural forms and the accidental and spontaneous. American Raku was popularized by Paul Soldner in the '50's when he dropped a molten pot in  the leaves by accident . When he covered it up to put out the fire he found rich colors and metals came to the surface of the pot. What happens is when a hot ,glowing pot is taken out of the kiln and placed in a bed of combustables flames happen. The pit is covered and the fire consumes all the oxygen in the pit. In an oxygen free atmosphere all the metals in the glazes come to the surface (called a reduction) to create copper and silver shines as well as black crackle lines where the smoke gets into the surface. It's also great fun. I believe Raku translates roughly to mean "Party". Pictures of the actual pots will follow as soon as I take them.

1 comment:

magpie bessie said...

very much looking forward to seeing what you create!