What is Japanese raku?

What is Japanese raku?

Raku is a Japanese style of pottery first made during the 1580s; the practice is characterised by the removal of a clay object from the kiln at the height of the firing and causing it to cool very rapidly. Originally created for the tea ceremony, Raku ware is most commonly found in the form of tea bowls.

What is a raku glaze?

A raku glaze is any glaze you use in the raku method. It doesn’t have to be a glaze specifically designed for raku, formulated to fire at the temperature you fire your raku to, nor homemade or commercial. It can be most anything.

What does raku mean in pottery?

Definition of raku 1 : Japanese hand-modeled pottery that is fired at a low temperature and rapidly cooled.

How is the Japanese raku different from Western firing?

The amount of oxygen that is allowed during the firing and cooling process affects the resulting color of the glaze and the amount of crackle. Unlike traditional Japanese raku, which is mainly hand built bowls of modest design, western raku tends to be vibrant in color, and comes in many shapes and sizes.

How do I know if my pottery is raku?

Typical examples of rakuware are hand-sculpted (rather than thrown on a potter’s wheel) lightweight porous vessels adorned with lead glazes. Raku chawan tea bowls are molded using the tezukune technique, with the palms of the hand: clay is shaped into a dense, flat circle and built up by compressing between the palms.

Does raku require special clay?

Most of the time, stoneware is the clay of choice for raku pottery. However, it is much more likely to survive the raku process if it has additional materials to prevent it from cracking. Grog can be added to clay bodies to make them more resilient. It can be made of various different materials.

Do you need to bisque fire before raku?

First you must bisque fire your pots as usual. Make sure you use a clay that is designed for Raku firing. It will be an open body with good thermal shock characteristics. Next you can apply slip, apply glaze, or just leave the pot bare.

What clay is best for raku firing?

Grogged stoneware clay is suitable for raku firing. Grog helps make the pottery more resistant to thermal shock and reduces shrinkage. There are specially made raku clay’s that often contain kyanite. Porcelain can be raku fired if it contains a suitable grog, is well made, and is fired under 1200F.

What do you put on top of the fired raku piece before covering it?

Underglaze can be applied to raku pottery in the same way that it is applied to any other. Often the underglaze is left to dry and then a clear crackle glaze is applied on top before raku firing.

Can I use a normal kiln for raku?

Potentially any kiln could be used for Raku, as it’s really the post-firing reduction that makes it happen. However, certain kilns are commonly used because of the access to the pot that they allow. Browse our selection of Raku kilns.

Do you need special clay for raku?

Why choose raku pottery?

With Raku, the world is your oyster, in terms of trying things out. For example, I came across one potter who applies matte copper glaze over clear gloss glaze to amazing effect.

What is a low fire raku glaze?

In raku firing, the aim is to get the pottery and glaze to a temperature where the glaze has melted. The pottery is then removed from the kiln and various post-firing steps are taken. The important point here is that the glaze needs to be able to melt at lower raku temperatures. Consequently, it’s a good idea to choose a low fire glaze.

What is Japanese raku ware?

Whilst western raku practices are used to make all sorts of different types of pottery and ceramics. The Japanese raku method is about making tea bowls. The second thing that ‘maker of tea bowls’ points to, is a simplicity, which is central to raku ware.

Can You underglaze raku pottery?

Underglaze can be applied to raku pottery in the same way that it is applied to any other. Often the underglaze is left to dry and then a clear crackle glaze is applied on top before raku firing. However, it is a common complaint amongst potters that the color of their underglaze fades in raku firing.