Tag Archives: bisque fired

The Soluble Salt Ceramics of Mark Goudy and Liza Riddle


Mark Goudy and Liza Riddle are a couple from Berkeley, California who are blazing a new frontier in ceramic arts with their explorations into the applications of soluble metal salts.

I suppose it could almost be expected with backgrounds covering photography, biology, engineering, chemistry, music and graphics and a love of the outdoors that their work in ceramics would be organic, technical, innovative and experimental . Says Mark, “The process of working in clay is a grounding experience that focuses my attention in the present moment, but also is a tangible thread that connects across time with twenty thousand years of ceramists who preceded me.”

Liza Riddle Ceramic Bottle

Vessel v56 – Liza Riddle

Liza Riddle Ceramic Bottles

Liza Riddle

Mark Goudy Ceramic Sculptures

Mark Goudy

Mrak Gourdy Five Forms

Five Forms – Mark Goudy

Mark Goudy’s approach :

He described his signature technique in Ceramicsnow: “My work is an exploration in shape and pattern, using the enclosed vessel as the underlying form. These vessels are constructed from asymmetric curved surfaces that project a unique contour with each viewing angle. The interior space is intentionally hidden, leaving the contents to the imagination, metaphorically containing perhaps hopes, dreams, or spirits. These rounded shapes are meant to be held and, when set on a flat surface, gently rock before coming to rest at their own natural balance point.My approach is to combine ancient methods of stone-burnishing and earthenware firing with computer-aided shape design to produce talismans that fuse traditional and modern aesthetics. Surface markings are created by painting water-soluble metal salts on bisque-fired clay. These watercolors permeate the clay body, and become a permanent part of the surface when fired. “

” After a twenty-year engineering career, working in the virtual world of computer chip design, I found the process of clay work to be a catharsis. The physical nature of handbuilding unique pieces from this plastic medium was immediately satisfying. Soon I was applying my analytical and problem-solving skills to the multivariate issues that surfaced in the clay studio, and exercising my right brain to construct shapes in a totally intuitive way. “

In summing up his future direction , Mark said – One of my favorite quotes is from Johnny Cash who said, “Your style is a function of your limitations, more so than a function of your skills”, and this seems especially true with the processes I’m involved with. So far, my work has been largely vessel-based, but in future, I expect to branch out into some other areas.


To me the array of patterns in Mark Goudy’s ceramic pieces seem to encapsulate a mini cosmos, like staring into a clear night sky. So I wasn’t surprised to see Mark stating that his pieces remind him of mandalas, with their inherent meditative potential.

Mark Goudy Ceramic Art

Mark Goudy


Mark Goudy Ceramic Art

Mark Goudy


Liza Riddle’s approach :

” I seek to create work that evokes a sense of wonder and mystery, forms that beckon to be held and admired.  I delight in closely observing and then interpreting natural objects and events – weathered boulders on a mountain slope, wind ripples on a gray blue sea, complex designs on a delicate bird egg – their rhythms, patterns and forces have greatly inspired my work.  I am an avid traveler and hiker.  During my adventures I have discovered the magnificent pottery of ancient cultures in the American Southwest, South America, and Asia, which speak to me in very profound ways.”    

” I have been experimenting with soluble metal salts for the past two years, a collaboration with my husband, Mark Goudy, which draws on the inspirational work of the master of soluble metals, Arne Åse. Through trial and error, I have developed my own techniques for applying these almost transparent, highly sensitive “watercolors.” The chemicals are toxic and care must be taken while working with them, so my experiences working with photography chemicals and in a scientific laboratory have been extremely helpful. Although metal salts are challenging to work with, I love the sense of anticipation as I wait for a kiln load to finish firing, the joy of seeing their almost magical effects. Some results are disappointing, but I enjoy challenges. Because working with metal salts requires continual testing, inventing and learning, I am certain this project will keep me engaged for quite a long while. ”  [ ceramicsnow ]

All of her work is hand coiled, then carefully burnished to a smooth finish.  This is followed with  bisque firing the clay at earthenware temperatures, painting them with water soluble metals – iron, nickel, cobalt and other salts, and firing again at low temperatures.

Liza Riddle Ceramic Bottles

Two Vessels  (v85, v86) – Liza Riddle

Liza Riddle Vase

Liza Riddle

Vessel v61 – Liza Riddle

Mark Goudy Five Surfaces

Five Surfaces –  Mark Goudy

Mark Goudy Soluble Metal Salt glaze

Mark Goudy

Liza Riddle 3 bottles

Three Vessels – Liza Riddle

Liza Riddle

Liza Riddle 3 Vases

Three Vases – Liza Riddle

Mark Goudy

Mark Goudy 3 sculptures

Three Vessels – Mark Goudy

Liza Riddle

Website of Mark Goudy/Liza Riddle  : http://www.thundercloudstudio.com/




The Raku Pottery technique

Raku Buddha by thebuddhabuilderThe Buddhabuilder

The word “raku” means “happiness in the accident.” I have also seen an interpretation that says it is derived from the Kanji character meaning “enjoyment” or “ease”. Originally created for the Korean tea ceremony, this technique was subsequently found by ceramic adherents in the sixteenth century in Japan, where the great masters such as Sen no Rikyu were able to give full scope to the art based on a particular process: the fast removal of the piece from the furnace and covering it with flammable materials like natural wood sawdust to inhibit the absorption of oxygen to the molten enamel, which produced the characteristic cracking effect from the thermal shock. Also the colors were rendered with a more metallic appearance . The process of Raku firing differs from other firing methods because the pots are removed from the kiln at their maximum temperature.

The unique look of  Japanese Raku pottery is achieved by utilizing  both smoke and fire in the Raku kiln to create an unpredictable and unique style. Firstly the pottery is bisque fired , than glazed and fired in a Raku Kiln followed by enhancement in a reduction chamber. As opposed to normal pottery firing where the wares cool down slowly in the kiln and removed with gloves, Raku ware is removed immediatly with tongs. In the traditional Japanese firing process, the pot is removed from the  kiln while it is still glowing from the heat and put directly into water or allowed to cool in the open air

Glazing : Raku pottery can be produced from any clay, but if you use the special Raku clay it is more suited to withstand higher temperatures and thermal shock. After placing the completed piece in a kiln and firing it, you apply the Raku glaze by either spaying, brushing or sponging .  Some of the Raku glazes produce cracking and result in a spider webbing effect. Also you can combine both a glazed and unglazed natural smokey effect on the pottery

Raku Pottery Kiln

Removal of raku pottery from a kiln at la porte du soleil, Paris


Raku Firing : The first step of bisque firing hardens the clay and needs a level of at least clone 08. Then the glaze is applied and virtually any low temperature glaze is appropriate for Raku. The next step is to fire in a Raku kiln ( F 1800 ) and leave for around 30 minutes before placing in the reduction chamber. A metal can with a lid can be used for this stage, even a metal rubbish bin will work ok and  the pottery can remain in this chamber for  15 to 90 minutes. Combustible material such as wood, newspaper, cardboard and dried leaves can be used, they all produce a different effect. The smoke from these  materials all contribute to changing the colors and patterns of the Raku pottery. As the fire consumes the oxygen within the can, it also draws the oxygen out of the raku pottery and its glaze. This process is called post fire reduction. It is the post fire reduction stage that creates the unique look of raku pottery. The unpredictability of the process is essentially the result of the removal of oxygen in the reduction chamber. 

Raku reduction Flaming

Raku reduction on a bed of vegetable matter


The final stage is to dunk the piece in cold water and clean with a stiff brush or some abrasive material to remove the ash. Raku pottery is mainly used for decoration rather than being functional.

Raku pottery was first developed by Japanese potters in the 16th century and it still holds a mystique and is embraced by amateur and professional potters till this day. The appeal was heightened in Japan when the ware was created for use in Japanese tea ceremonies.

Raku Pottery Jug by Jason Outlaw

Raku Pottery Jug in Copper with glass melted over handles – Jaaon Outlaw

Jason Outaw and Rosalie De Fini Outlaw Raku planter

Wheel Thrown Raku Pottery by Jason Outaw and Rosalie De Fini Outlaw of Outlaw Pottery

 Onion Shaped Raku Vase Red Crow Pottery

 Onion Bulb Shaped Raku Pottery Vase

Red Crow Pottery – Judy – flickr

Hand carved Fuscia Vessel by Christopher Mathie

 Hand-carved Fuscia Vessel – Christopher Mathie

Western Raku pottery vase

A vase glazed and fired using the Western Raku technique, showing the soot, crackle glazing, and random oxidation typical of this pottery form.

Ryonyu chawan

A red and black Raku chawan made by (and featuring the mark of) Ryonyu XI, potter of the 9th generation of Ryonyu potters. 

Museum of Fine Arts, Lyon, France

la porte du soleil raku vessel

la porte du soleil

More Raku see French Raku Studio

Julie Risak hand-built teapot

Julie Risak’s hand-built teapot.

K,Winograde Pit fired raku vase

K.Winograde Vase

Elizabeth Ritter raku horse

An Elizabeth Ritter Raku Sculptured Horse

Raku Copper Matt Bottles by Chris Hawkins

Hand thrown raku fired fumed copper matt bottles

Chris Hawkins

Raku ceramic sculpture figure 41 Torso 12 - Anthony Anderson

41 Torso 12 – Anthony Anderson

Raku torso with Copper Sand glaze. ceramic sculpture figure

 Dancer Raku fired figurine, Charlotte Munning

“The Dancer”

Raku fired figurine, Charlotte Munning


Raku Jar alcohol fumed-Nick LaFone

Raku Jar alcohol fumed – Nick LaFone

Odyssey Center -River Arts

Raku Bottle with incisions  – Lori Duncan

‘ Good Samaritan ‘ – Christopher Mathie

 Red Raku Vessel by Christopher Mathie

Christopher Mathie – Rich red raku vesselGina Mars - Raku Fired Vessel

My latest inspiration comes from middle eastern architecture. The pieces have minaret like tops on them and some are covered in gold or copper leaf. I also enjoy adding sculptural elements to my work.–

Gina Mars

Marianne Wulffraat-Keramic Jar

Marianne Wulffraat-Kerami

Raku Vase – Manor Loft

 Raku Aligator Pillow - Gise Trauttmansdorff

Raku fired Aligator Pillow – Gise Trauttmansdorff


Hagi yaki ware Japanese tea bowl – Raku chawan – Keizo Takeshita

Janet Mansfield raku vessel

Janet Mansfield

John Kellum raku teapot

John Kellum raku teapot