Raku ceramics

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RAKU IS SURPRISING

Raku is an ancient Japanese firing technique which roots are in the Japanese tea culture. The word Raku can be translated into pleasure or happiness by chance.

Raku firing technique is multi-stage and laborious, but at the same time, one of the most impressive techniques in pottery, where ceramics are fired outside in flames and the smoke of the kiln gives a captivating finish. This special technique makes Raku so exceptional from other types of pottery. As soon as a red hot piece of ceramic is taken out of the oven, it is placed in a big tin container filled with wood chips, hay or pine twigs that catch on fire. The thermic shock causes cracks that become black with the smoke. The piece is then put in cool water to set the final design. It is the passage from the fire to air which determines the type, quantity and size of the cracks and the tone of the colors.

You can not control the outcome in Raku firing. The final crackles and tones come by coincidence. Every piece is unique. The accumulations of the glaze and cracks are characteristic for Raku pieces.

Raku ceramics are suitable only for decorative purposes. The glaze contains toxic oxides, that may dissolve into groceries. This firing technique is also harsh. Some of the pieces break when they are taken out from the oven. Since Raku ceramic object goes under many thermic shocks during firing, it is slightly more fragile compared to industrial pottery. Please, take this into consideration when handling Raku ceramics.