Raku ware artwork
The best translation for raku is enjoyment, comfort or ease. Many owners and collectors of raku can attest to the fact that these are some of the emotions that it inspires. We have been creating raku for many years and have many pieces of raku throughout our home. I don’t know if it’s colors or patterns or a combination of the two but for me, it just makes you feel good.
Raku originated in Japan around the 16th century and was used in the Japanese tea ceremony. It differs from modern raku which was developed in the 1950s and is the technique that we use. For more information on the ancient form of raku, Wikipedia has an in depth explanation here.
Creating Modern raku
Modern raku is a technique that involves the reducing the vessel or piece in a combustion chamber. We typically use a metal garbage can for a combustion chamber and newspaper or sawdust as reduction materials. We use several different raku glaze formulas and each one requires a slightly different firing technique.
Typically the vessel or piece is fired in our kiln to around 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. We then remove it from the kiln and place it into a garbage can containing newspaper and/or sawdust. At this temperature, the newspaper immediately combusts into flames. We then place the garbage can lid on the on the can. The fire then quickly burns up all the oxygen in the can creating an oxygen free environment. This is what allows the specially formulated glazes to do their magic. As the piece cools, the different colors and patterns are set. There are so many variables that go into using this firing technique that no piece of raku comes out with the same colors and patterns.
Below is a gallery containing some of the artwork we have created in the past. We hope that you enjoy viewing our work as much as we enjoyed creating it.