WHAT is a Raku?

pictured above: 1)The Kiln being fired in our side yard with gas heat 2)The pots are removed at their highest temp 3) The pots are smoked in paper 4) Sarah being a bad mamma-jamma.

Here at Union Project, our ceramic artists are busy exploring all sorts of different glazing and firing techniques. Just this past weekend Ceramics Cooperative members Sarah and Keith spent time working to master one of the funnier sounding firing techniques, Raku firing.

So...What is Raku?
In Raku, a ceramic piece is quickly heated to approximately 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. A Raku piece will be brought up to temperature in 40 minutes, whereas other forms of firing will take hours or even days. The process of Raku firing differs from other firing methods because the pots are removed from the kiln at their maximum temperature with large metal tongs and are then subjected to post-firing reduction (or smoking) by being placed in containers of combustible materials, which blackens raw clay and can cause cracking in the glaze surface.

To learn how to make Raku ceramic-ware or sign up for our next round of Raku mini-workshops visit our ceramics classes page or contact studio@unionproject.org.