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About Raku:

As an urban potter based in Leicester, I produce many Raku items. Modern Raku is derived from an ancient Japanese technique. 

Raku is essentially decorative ware for display and is not meant to hold food or water because of its porosity. It could be used, if the form makes it practicable, to hold dried flowers, twigs or pot pourri.

The 10-step process I use to create Raku ware:

1Firstly, I prepare the clay by "wedging", which is a way of folding the clay over itself to exclude air pockets and to make it an even consistency.

2. Then I make the pot, using my throwing skills.

3. The  piece is then dried to a moisture level that allows the pot to be trimmed, fettled and, in some cases,  burnished. 


4. It is then dried so that no moisture remains in the clay. 


5. Next it is "biscuit" fired in a conventional electric kiln to 1045 °C.

6. It is then brushed or sprayed with a suitable glaze and when this is dry, it is fired rapidly (in the space of an hour) in a home-made kiln heated by propane gas to a little above 1000° C.

7. The red hot pots are placed in a bin of organic combustibles such as sawdust and newspaper and the lid tightly clamped on.

8. Once cooled, the pot is cleaned to reveal its final colours.

9. The unglazed parts are usually highly carbonised but to ensure an even colour, I usually stain these with Indian ink.


10. I then apply a finishing wax to these parts and burnish with a micropore cloth.

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