Saturday, September 27, 2008

raku

Last month we attended a Japanese Festival and among many wondrous things that we were able to see and partake in this is but one of them. We were able to watch a potter fire some Raku pottery. Raku started in Japan and is a method of firing pottery. It produces a great finish to a piece, and usually one that is poisonous with lead. Do not use your raku pottery to eat from please!

I have heard quite a bit about Raku, but I have never seen it done before and I was quite interested in watching this. The kids also loved seeing this take place. They have watched their daddy fire pottery at VBS/marketplace and so they knew the process, and they have had it described as I have shown them and talked about the pottery that I have done. But this was unlike anything they had watched before.

This is a picture right after he took the kiln off the pots. They are orange hot still and just a few seconds after this shot was taken they went ahead and picked these up with long tongs. It was incredible.



Here he is with the long tongs putting the pot into a small garbage can filled with straw on the ground.



You can see the fire start in the straw because of the extreme heat in this picture.


While the pot was in the metal bin, he talked to us a little bit, but not more then about five minutes. He then pulled the pot out and put it into water. I got wide eyed cause well, when I have put really hot things into really cool things, they have really broken, but this guy knew what he was doing.



They passed the pieces around afterwards so we could all see them. The interesting thing was that I could touch them. Weird to me, considering how long we usually wait for a kiln to cool before you could touch your pots. They were beautiful and the other interesting thing is that they smell like smoke!




I really followed only the one pot with these pictures, but if you look at the first picture you will also see this pot below and this is it finished. They both turned out so well. Very interesting process. The kids loved it!

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2 comments:

Susan said...

Anna,

I still have the ceramic bowl that you gave me from your days in college. It really fits into my decor. I've always liked the leaf design that you made.

FHL said...

Oh those ARE beautiful! I really like the earthiness of the finish. Although they look gorgeous in glowing hot orange as well ;o) What a neat day!

 

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