Raku is a centuries old firing technique developed by the Japanese. The pieces of pottery are fired outdoors in a kiln. The pieces are heated very quickly to the red hot stage and while the glaze is still molten, they are pulled out of the kiln and into the air. The iridescent colors and crackle surfaces are a result of the chemical reaction of the glaze materials oxidizing when the pots are removed from the kiln. Pots are then placed in a pit or container, covered with combustible materials and sealed airtight. This reduction of oxygen stops the flaming and produces smoke which permeates the clay body and the glazed surfaces.
Raku pieces are characterized by the black, smoked clay body and the unusual, spontaneous surface effects. Raku fired pieces are truly unique and make distinctive decorative objects.
Made by local artist Patti Hartnagel
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