Saturday, November 18, 2006


Raku Ceramics and Zoomorphic forms

Until recently, when I moved house, I had a Raku kiln in my back yard (well, actually more of a neglected savannah). Raku originated in Japan in the late 16th Century, but has become adopted and popularised in the West. One of the exciting glaze techniques in Raku is reduction, where hot (as in 900+ C) fired oxide glazed ceramics are removed straight from the kiln and placed into a reducing environment (i.e. little or no oxygen) such as paper or sawdust, often in a sealed metal bin.

It can sometimes be a little disappointing, when after a couple of hours of cooling, you extract an all black pot, but sometimes the effects are marvelous, in all the hues you can imagine. The other source of excitement is being engulfed in flames from head to toe (we do wear appropriate safety equipment, such as casting gloves, splash screen masks and organo-metal filtered breathing masks. Also, always wear all cotton clothes, never anything made from synthetic materials).

I promised Joanna I would post a link to her (almost finished) site (that web site designer is so slack!), so here it is: Joanna Wakefield Ceramics.


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