Photos of a Raku Firing

Raku firing is like “painting with smoke” - a reaction of fire on earth. Pieces are heated up in an outdoor kiln, then plunged whilst red hot into wood shavings and sawdust. The smoke formed is absorbed into the clay creating a permanent, natural and fairly unpredictable effect. I control this effect (to a certain extent!) using resist glazes, which I scrub off afterwards exposing the bare clay surface. I then polish this surface using beeswax.

Pieces are ready for firing

Tidying up!

Preparation: brushing on a resist glaze, pouring on an over - glaze and sponging off excess glaze to create masked areas

Pieces are in the kiln and ready to go

It doesn’t look much....but when it gets going....

....it really gets hot in there!

45 minutes later and the pieces are ready to come out. A blast of air or a roll in damp grass can create different effects

Pieces are still hot enough to ignite the sawdust - throwing some extra in will deepen the colour

Smokin!!!

Can’t wait to look!

Some pieces are placed in water to seal the colour

Pieces are still too hot to handle so I lay them on a heatproof surface

For others - time to remove the resist glaze and scrape back to the clay - ready to be scrubbed and polished

And leave.....

Ooh!

The finished product!