Raku bowl master at Asukagama, Takumi Nakashima
Japanese chawan in the traditional red and black by Shoraku Sasaki
This bowl received an award from the monk Kankei Moriyama.(1888-1955) and was named “Yume” – which means a dream.
( RubyLane )
Origins of Raku
The originator of raku in Japan was Sasaki Chojiro, who first produced raku pieces for the Japanese tea ceremony in the 16th century. He learnt the technique from his father Ameya, who was trained in the Ming Dynasty Sencai pottery tradition and was brought to Kyoto, Japan from China. The original chawan tea bowls were red and black and called ‘ Imma yaki ‘ These colors were favored because they represented the Yang elements which are grounding and support the tea ceremony principals of contemplation and austerity. This was further enhanced by using simple hand crafted forms while being balanced with the Yin forces of the abstract, asymmetrical shapes and the ethereal quality of the mysterious raku textures, appearance and colours.
Nweka – Josette Boyer, France
Three raku pigeons – Glo Coalson
Despite Raku being primarily decorative and rarely used for functional purposes, Raku has maintained a healthy level of popularity in the West. Some of the reasons for this are the diversity of lustres and unique colours that are attainable, the creation of desirable crackle effects, the dramatic and exciting production process, the versatility of the glazes, the unpredictable “ one of a kind “ outcomes and the relatively fast results that can be achieved. Adherents have also been drawn to Raku because of its deep tradition in the Japanese culture.
After the initial formation of the clay pieces which have then been dried, bisqued and cooled, they are ready for glazing. The glaze can be applied by spraying, brushing, dipping the piece in a glaze or drizzled. After glazing the piece it is then re-fired in a raku kiln. The decorated pieces are fired again to 1800 F and within about an hour, when the desired melting of the glazes have been achieved, they are immediately removed while still glowing with special raku tongs ( the dramatic stage ) and quickly placed into a metal container filled with organic materials such as straw, leaves, pine needles, sawdust or paper, then quickly sealed to be smoked and cooled down.
The thermal shock causes the glazes to craze and carbon fills the cracks giving the glaze it’s distinctive crackle appearance, especially with the white based glazes. As the piece sits in the combustion chamber, the decreased oxygen causes a chemical reaction in the glazes, resulting in metallic, iridescent colors. One glaze can produce a variety of colors as flashing occurs in areas that are exposed to more or less amounts of oxygen. The colors achieved are spontaneous and unable to be replicated.
The natural un-glazed clay will become black from the smoking environment, while the glazed areas, due to the rapid cooling, will have the desirable crackle effect and/or look of lustres to the glaze. The piece is then cooled by quenching with water and cleaned. The glaze firing and reduction process generally takes between one to two hours. A raku kiln can be fired in 20 minutes, as opposed to 12 hours for a regular kiln. All these above factors have made Raku a popular choice for pottery workshops which has contributed to its growth.
La porte du soleil raku vessel
This piece was fired with a copper bearing glaze that ages and mellows as it gets older Non functional, decorative use only
3.3″ h -x- 5.7″ w
Ron Mello Studio on Etsy
Large abstract raku fired sculpture by Roger Capron.
Raku bottle by Ryan Peters
Black and white lidded raku jar – Andy Smith
Athena Raku fired sculpture
Raku Bowl – Jacques Tissot, Fribourg (Switzerland)
Caffeine Buzz teapot – Ryan Peters
Ryan Peters raku lidded jar
Ryan Peters Raku Pottery
Dance of The Seven Raku Vases – Catherine Rehbein
Naked Raku Fern dish – Eena Miller
Raku earthenware on wood board – Nicole Petrescu
Nicole Petrescu – Flickr
Raku sculptural vase – Shaun Hall
Raku horsehair pottery vase –Letsgetmuddy, California
This vase was coated with terra sigillata , a refined slip coating that is used to give a high satin gloss without the use of a glaze and burnished with a small stone at least three times before its initial bisque firing. It was then fired in my raku kiln. When the temperature reached approximately 1500 degrees F. it was removed from the kiln and horse hair held up against the hot pot. The black markings you see are what was left behind.
As the pot cooled it was fumed with an iron solution that gives it a warm fiery hue.
( Letsgetmuddy – flickr )
Jim Romberg, Canyon Moon
Copper Raku Vase
Classic Red Raku Urn – ElementalUrns – Etsy
Francois Chesneau raku vessel — la-porte-du-soleil
Horse hair raku bottle – Saratoga clay arts
Raku bowl by Jacques-Tissot, Fribourg (Switzerland)
Raku fired sculptural disc – La porte du soleil, France
Built from extruded elements, then raku fired -Brenda Dean
Raku jar – La porte du soleil
Malcolm Davis shino glazed ( raku like ) vase
Nita Claise raku pottery
Raku bottle Nita Claise, Indiana USA
Hand-thrown Scallop Bowl, raku fired – Christopher Mathie
Hand thrown & Sculpted Raku Poppy Vessel – Christopher Mathie
” 2 Birds in a Tree “— Raku Bird Feeder’ by ringoffire pottery
Nancy Pene raku
Lidded raku jar – Nancy Pene
Tall black and white curling pieces – Tim Andrews
Buddha Statue Seated in the Clouds Sculpture – raku – by Anita Feng – buddhabulider
Raku Pottery with melted glass by Steven Forbe deSoule
Ribbed Raku vessel by Ron Mello
Saturn Vessel – rakuvessels.com
33”h x 20”w x 20”d
Raku ovoid vessel – Ron Mello Middleboro-MA,
Brent Skinner -lidded raku pot with handles
Tim Scull,-ceramic artist doing raku and sagger fired pottery
Tony Evans — Raku Bowl on Wooden Stand
Tweezle Picksniffian -Raku Ceramic by Carole Fleischman
Nina Clais – sculptural raku bottle
Nina Clais raku teapot
Raku III – Thierry FINIDORI (Vallauris)
Ceramic Copper Raku Vase
morphingmolecules – etsy
Handcrafted Raku leaves by Maarit Mattanen – Finland
Matte copper reduction raku vase – William K Turner
Covered raku jar – Rick Lowenka