These vessels are hand-built from slabs of clay and then fired in an old technique that resembles components of a style developed by Japan’s Raku family of potters in Kyoto. Pots are placed into a hot kiln and at precisely the moment the glaze melts, they are removed with large tongs and placed into trash cans with newspaper, sawdust, or wood chips. The hot piece of pottery immediately ignites these materials. It is during this final smoking stage the subtle colors and shadings of the clay and the crackling of the glaze emerge. Western Raku pottery is beautifully unpredictable. Each piece is a unique creation, never to be duplicated. Due to the stressful nature of creating these pieces, they are not designed to hold water.
This spontaneity and unpredictable result of the firing is why I have devoted over 30 years to this process. I am constantly surprised by the beauty that can come out of this randomness. Click here to learn more about the Western Raku process.