from the ashes ...

Every few months I meet up with other mad ceramicists for a day of raku-ing. Raku is a method of firing ceramics first practised in Japan. It involves heating freshly glazed pots to around 1000 degrees C.

The pots are transferred from the red-hot kiln to a chamber of saw-dust which ignites because of the heat. 

The box is sealed forcing the flames to extract oxygen from glaze and pots. Once the fire has died down, the finished pots are retrieved. At this stage they look far from impressive.

Yet after some serious scrubbing usually in cold water and wet and windy weather (we know how to have a good time!), they take on their final appearance. Crazing of the glaze is what's wanted, the more the merrier. The smoke has darkened crackles and unglazed areas. Some pots don't survive the ordeal. Those that do, have lost none of their strength and have gained a unique appearance all of their own.

Only one of my pots broke on this occasion - phew. Here are 3 that made it. 


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