Thursday, May 6, 2010

Very Hot Pots

These are some very hot pots, about 1800F sitting in the raku kiln. I didn't have any bisque pots except in porcelain, which isn't the best clay for raku, so I observed the raku firing last night with my camera.

When I first read about raku I was a bit intimidated by the heat of the pots, sensing danger, but not any more. As long as you're careful and organized, the process goes smoothly. The instant gratification is a bit like the barrel firings I've done only more instantaneous. I can't wait till the next firing.

The pots are removed from the kiln with tongs when they are red hot and are placed in a reduction chamber. In this case the chamber is a metal trash can filled with shredded newspaper. The paper flames up and then the lid of the can is put on tightly reducing the oxygen in the can which causes great things to happen with the glazes and the pot surfaces.

Here's some horsehair application taking place. The hot pot is taken from the kiln and horsehair is placed against the surface, the heat immediately melts the horsehair onto the pot and causes the characteristic random squiggly lines seen in horsehair pottery.

Some of the finished pots. The upper left pot has copper sand glaze on the body with white crackle on top. The small pots in the foreground are firecracker pots. The pots are made and a firecracker is lit in them when they are green? I'm sure I'll learn more about that process too. Comments and suggestions are welcome.


  1. I bet it felt good to be there!

  2. Wow, they are beautiful. Loved the glowing look also. Very interesting.

  3. Watch out, Raku is very addictive:) The kiln in your picture is very similar to mine, only mine is a little larger I think. Don't you just love those glowing pots?

  4. The pictures are great. Raku season is upon us it seems. We just had a workshop with Linda & Charlie Riggs at Mudfire. They taught even more ways raku can be addictive. I don't believe a 12 step program is available either.

  5. Looks like you all had a nice firing. Too bad you didn't have any pieces of your own to put in there. Now you have something to work on for next time.
    Safety is pretty easy to maintain as long as you are organized, like you said. My brother does this with his high school that takes organization.

  6. isn't the process fun? am looking forward to seeing YOUR raku pots in the days to come. haven't heard of the firecracker method. hmmm I seem to like the raku process better than the product. How I wish the finished pieces were functional.

  7. Hi Meredith, thanks, it sure did.

    Hi Patti, thanks, they do look neat, just have to remember they are very hot and not to touch except with tongs.

    Hi Tracey, thanks, yes I may have a another addiction coming on.

    Hi Lori, thanks, no I don't think there are any twelve steps for anything clay.

    Hi Rob, thanks, this college class is held at the high school so they must fire raku too.

    Hi Amy, thanks, some are functional just not for food, potpourri, candle holders, trinket holder, maybe soap dish, there must be more uses for them.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment