Alternative Firing

April 10, 2014

Raku, Smoked, Horsehair

Raku – Raku dates back to the 15th-16th Century Japan/Korea. After applying the glaze, the kiln is fired quickly to the melting point of the glaze (about 2000° F). The objects are removed from the kiln with tongs, and quickly placed in some kind of container, filled with burnable material like sawdust, woodchips, straw, or leaves. Because of the temperature shock, the glaze will cool much quicker than the clay object underneath, and the glaze will “crack,” creating a pattern of irregular lines. The smoke in the bin produced the burnable materials seeps through the “cracks” leaving behind a pattern of black cracks in the glaze. Where there is NO glaze, the clay turns black.

Raku Box 8″tall

Double Lizard Raku Box

Raku Fired Bee Box

Horsehair Pottery – Each of these pots was thrown on the potters wheel and burnished, (compressing the surface) while they were damp. When dry they were bisque fired. Then, each pot was heated to 1,000° in the raku kiln. While the pots are hot, hairs from the mane or tail of a horse are dropped onto the surface. After each pot is clean they are sprayed to add a gloss.

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