Originally created for the Korean tea ceremony, this technique was found by ceramic adherents in the sixteenth century in Japan, where the great masters such as Sen no Rikyu were able to give full scope to the art based on a particular process. the fast removal of the piece from the furnace and covering it with flammable materials like natural wood sawdust to inhibit the absorption of oxygen to the molten enamel, which produced the characteristic cracking effect from the thermal shock. Also the colors were rendered with a more metallic appearance. The process of Raku firing differs from other firing methods because the pots are removed from the kiln at their maximum temperature.
The unique look of Japanese Raku pottery is achieved by utilizing both smoke and fire in the Raku kiln to create an unpredictable and unique style. Firstly the pottery is bisque fired, than glazed and fired in a Raku Kiln followed by enhancement in a reduction chamber. As opposed to normal pottery firing where the wares cool down slowly in the kiln and removed with gloves, Raku ware is removed immediately with tongs. In the traditional Japanese firing process, the pot is removed from the kiln while it is still glowing from the heat and put directly into water or allowed to cool in the open air
Glazing: Raku pottery can be produced from any clay, but if you use the special Raku clay it is more suited to withstand higher temperatures and thermal shock. After placing the completed piece in a kiln and firing it, you apply the Raku glaze by either spaying, brushing or sponging. Some of the Raku glazes produce cracking and result in a spider webbing effect. Also you can combine both a glazed and unglazed natural Smokey effect on the pottery Raku Firing: The first step of bisque firing hardens the clay and needs a level of at least clone 08. Then the glaze is applied and virtually any low temperature glaze is appropriate for Raku. The next step is to fire in a Raku kiln and...