American Raku!

In this post, we are covering a pottery process called Raku, that Olive experienced with her instructor, Jeff, a few weeks ago. We were amazed by the individuality of the pieces and the crackle that appeared on them once they were cooled. The process comes from the Japanese tradition and it is one of the more exciting ways (we think!) to fire ceramics. The clay is quite a bit grittier than earthenware clay. The quick overview is that the ceramics are glazed, then heated in the kiln, removed while hot (resulting in the glaze cracking, leaving tiny fractures open to receive smoke in the next step) and then placed into a bin of newspaper or sawdust, and finally, covered for a while as the carbon particles find their new home between the cracks in the glaze. Once cooled, they are given a final scrub to get the glaze sparkly clean and increase the contrast you see between the cracks and the surface of the piece.

There are many Raku glazes that can be used, ranging from crackle to iridescent to black. Can’t wait to try it again! :0)

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Blowing on the pieces helps hear the tiny cracks in the glaze happen in real time. It is a lovely sound!!!

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6 thoughts on “American Raku!

  1. You are one lucky (and talented) young lady! Nice work! I was in my mid-20’s when I first worked with clay. Doing raku in Robert Piepenberg’s class kept my love of clay lit during years of no opportunities to play. Raku Rocks!

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  2. So happy I’ve finally found my way to see her work online! Very well done and happy to see such a youngin’ grow so much in the potter’s world!

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  3. love these blogs. It’s fun to see what you’re up to and the amazing objects you just keep cranking out. Maybe a future potter? Who knows? xxoo V

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