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Art of the Day: Tuesday June 06, 2006

Raku koi tile

- by Val Webb

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: Raku koi tile by Artist Val Webb
This bas-relief tile was carved from a leatherhard slab of white raku clay, then glazed and fired. The flashes of color characteristic of raku pottery are perfect for depicting the shimmering scales of a colorful koi.

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