Ceramic Design Studio
-NEWS & EVENTS
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While Japanese Raku has about a 400 year history, American Raku has evolved during the past 45 years into something very different. Contemporary Raku artist take a glazed or unglazed pot out of a kiln that has been heated somewhere in the range of 1200°F - 1850°F and then subject the ceramic piece to a post firing treatment before it cools. Most often the work is exposed to a reduction atmosphere by placing it in a closed container with carbon producing flammables i.e. newspaper, sawdust, straw. Recently, potters have been “fuming” works by spraying chemicals onto the surface of the hot pot, i.e. ferric chloride, silver nitrate, copper nitrate. Once the pot is cooled, it is cleaned of scrum and excess carbon. Because of the process, Raku pots are most often decorative items and not usually designed as functional ware. The clay is not fired to maturity and most shinny glazes crackle leaving an unsanitary surface. Matt and specialty glazes are usually not stable or contain toxic materials, not suited as food containers. Raku ware is highly prized by collectors.