Raku generally refers to a type of low-firing process that was inspired by traditional Japanese raku firing. Western-style raku usually involves removing pottery from the kiln while at bright red heat and placing it into containers with combustible materials. Once the materials ignite, the containers are closed. This produces an intense reduction atmosphere which affects the colors in glazes and clay bodies. The drastic thermal shock also produces cracking (known as crackling since it is deliberate). The original Japanese style of raku is an outgrowth from Buddhist influences in life and especially in the tea ceremony. (source: the spruce crafts)
Raku naked white craquele' outside, shiny white craquele' inside. Carved
diameter 13.5 x h 9 ( 5 x 4 inches)
Despite raku's history and the fact it used to be used in ancient tea ceremonies, it's recommended that you keep your raku pieces purely decorative. This is due largely in part to the fact that it's fired rapidly, meaning, although it's beautiful it can be porous, fragile and sometimes the glaze might flake in places. So while the pieces can look incredible, they're not really to be used as functional ware.
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