Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What is Raku?

Raku is a method of firing pottery that began in Japan, more than 350 years ago. The name Raku comes from the Japanese language, and means enjoyment, contentment, and happiness. Raku firing as practiced in America is the result of experiments begun by Paul Soldner in 1960.

The actual firing of Raku differs from traditional cone firing in that it is relatively fast, and the pot is removed from the kiln while still hot, and placed in a pit or can with combustible materials such as straw, leaves, paper, or sawdust. This is where most of the reduction takes place. The pots are then dunked in water or cooled with a strong fan. The process makes Raku pottery somewhat more fragile, but the results are quicker and the glazes used often provide dramatic results.--Ruth Mitchell

Raku pots by Jamie Cooper now on display at the Bottle Tree Gallery.

(c) 2009 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved

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