Portfolio - Pajamas, Naked Raku Fruit, and Raku Jars
These “Pajamas” are raku fired. Raku is an ancient Japanese firing method with post-fired cooling techniques. Each piece is fired a minimum of two times. Glaze is applied before the second firing and the form is placed in a gas kiln. The temperature is slowly raised to 1900 degrees F. You can literally see the glazes melting like molten glass. The piece is taken out with metal tongs and placed in a metal container filled with combustible materials such as shredded paper, sawdust, dry leaves, etc. This material immediately ignites and flames surround the quickly cooling form. A lid is tightly placed over that container and the carbon from the smoky atmosphere is absorbed into the clay and glaze giving it the black to smoky gray appearance on the unglazed surface. Transparent glazes show the crazing “crackle” lines because the rate of contraction differs from the clay. If a high concentrate of copper is used in the glaze, the combination of atmosphere and temperature variations in the container contribute to the colorful patterns.
Raku is an exciting process and is valued for the unique irreproducible patterns of crazing and color.