RAKU is a ceramic technique founded in Japan by Raku Chojiro over 450 years ago as the Ceremonial Tea Ware of the Zen Buddhist Masters.
Raku must be approached like an art. It is not functional, food safe or water resistant ware. It is valued for its spirit and beauty and used for decoration only.
The firing process is unique and the special clay body is subjected to withstand a high shock during the process. The pots are bisque fired, coated with special glazes and fired again in a hot kiln, approximately 1800°F to 2000°F, for a short period of time. From the kiln they are placed in trash cans filled with combustibles like pine needles, sawdust, hay or strapped newspapers and covered with a lid in order to reduce the oxidation, which brings amazing colors. In the end the pots are placed in cold water and cleaned to a final luster.
Not many pots survive the severe temperature changes without cracking or breaking. The crackle glaze is highly valued as a traditional Raku signature.
"Nothing improves skills like using them."