The history of Raku dates as far back as the 16th century CE. Traditional Raku pottery is also known to have been used in Japan by the Zen Buddhist masters who liked its simple naturalness.
This feature is appealing to us as well.
Raku means Pleasure or enjoyment
Raku pottery involves pots taken from the kiln while they are still red hot and placing them in a flammable reduction material such as
sawdust, woodchips or newspaper. Basically organic material that burns quickly.
The reason for this is to starve the pots of oxygen, which gives the glaze a wonderful variety of colours. Pieces with no glaze on them take the oxygen from the clay itself, meaning some areas will have a matte black colouring.
This is very different from a conventional firing, where the piece is removed from the kiln only after it’s cooled down slowly.
Western-Style Raku Firing
The ancient Eastern styles of raku were developed with new methods by American ceramicist Paul Soldner in the 1960s. He was known to teach his students ‘not to fight the unexpected but to look for the opportunities it offers.’ (a quote which we adore).
As you’ll see below, the kinds of effects you can get from this process are unlike those you can get from conventional pottery firing techniques.
Click the video and read on to see more or
click here to learn more about our particular style of firing our raku pottery!
The effects are unique and
one of a kind to each piece.
While you may be able to reproduce a general overall effect,
you cannot reproduce identical pieces.
THe piece that got me:
‘Fractal Magic’ was one of my first pieces of raku pottery.
This vase is the one that launched my love affair with this firing technique. After cleaning off the soot and, there was no turning back.
For me, fractals represent the organized chaos of dynamic recursion in it’s own feedback loop, and is the pattern of life on this planet and the journey of the soul.
The Alchemist had found his gold.
Learn more about my this piece as well as many other works in my book
A Potter’s Dream: Myths and Legends
What do you think of the magic of raku?
Check out more one of a kind raku effects on other vases
(including Blue Lotus and Fractal Magic) here.
Educative and Interesting.
Glad to share it with you, Josephine! Thanks for the feedback and so glad you like it!
Thank you Dawn! That is very kind of you! Hope you are keeping well today!
Thanks, same to you!
This: “For me, fractals represent the organized chaos of dynamic recursion in its own feedback loop.” Beautiful! I am so glad to learn about raku.
So glad to share raku with you, Stacey! Thank you for reading along 🙏 I hope you are keeping well!
Your raku is beautiful. I especially like the candle holders.
Thank you! If you would like to see more of them, they are posted here as well https://rakupottery.ca/candleholders/ 🙏
Stunning! Raku was the only pottery I was familiar with. Thanks for these educational and evocative posts. The images are fantastic!
Thanks Nancy! I appreciate your kindness and hope your day is going well 🙏 Raku is a beautiful process and I love what it creates
Many moons ago I took a pottery class. I was no good on the wheel but I did make two hand-formed bowls and used the raku technique. I still have them! 🙂
Very interesting and informative post. Thank you.
You had me at Zen, then took me over the top with fractal!! ❤️😉
Thank you Sheila! All your comments had gone to spam for some reason :/