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Art of the Day: Wednesday June 07, 2006

LIDDED RAKU POT

- by Roxanne MCINERNEY

This week's theme: Raku

Raku is a method of firing pottery. Each piece of pottery is fired in a kiln until the piece reaches about 1800 F. The piece is removed, while red hot and placed in a metal can with some sort of combustible material, like paper or sawdust. When this material ignites, the fire and smoke react with the glaze to create unique and unpredictable colors, lusters, and patterns.

Raku pieces are porous and the glazes are very often toxic. They cannot be used for liquids and many foods but they are suitable for any dry item - and of course, Raku pieces are beautiful to look at.

-Melissa Morton


Art: LIDDED RAKU POT by Artist Roxanne MCINERNEY
ABOUT THE LIDDED POT; RAKU IS AS MUCH ABOUT THE LOOK OF THE GLAZING AS IT IS ABOUT THE SHAPE OF THE PIECE. THIS IS WHEEL THROWN WITH WHITE CONE 6 CLAY. "GRANNY SMITH " RAKU GLAZE WAS USED. THE RED AREA ON THIS POT IS WHERE THE FIRE WAS DIRECTLY ON THE POT. THIS RED AREA DOESNT HAPPEN EVERY POT SO IT IN ITSELF IS SOMEWHAT UNIQUE. THE HANDLES WERE NOT GLAZED. THE CARBON FROM THE FIRE CAUSED THE WHITE CLAY TO BECOME TOTALLY BLACK WITHOUT GLAZE ON THEM SO IN RAKU THERE IS NO NEED FOR BLACK GLAZING IF YOU WANT A BLACK MATTE FINISH. THE PROCESS: USING WHITE CONE 6 CLAY I FORMED THIS POT ON THE WHEEL . AFTER DRYING WELL IT WAS GLAZED AND PUT IN A RAKU KILN FOR 45 MINUTES . WHEN ORANGE HOT ABOUT 1200 DEGREES IT WAS TAKEN OUT AND PUT IN A METAL TRASH CAN WITH OAK LEAVES . THE HIGH HEAT OF THE POT SETS THE LEAVES ON FIRE. THE LID WAS PUT ON . IT WAS LEFT THERE FOR 5 MINUTES THEN THE POT IS REMOVED AND PUT IN A TUB OF WATER TO COOL. AS THEY SAY, THE BEST PART IS FOR LAST WHICH IS SEEING WHAT YOU HAVE! FROM PIECE TO PIECE THERE ARE ALWAYS MANY VARIANCES IN COLOR AND CRACKLING THAT MAKE THAT PIECE TOTALLY UNIQUE.

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