2018 - 2020
ceramic firing series:
naked raku, obvara raku
Using a DIY raku kiln, I have been experimenting with various forms of raku firing. Raku is a method of firing originiating in 16th century Japan which involves rapidly heating bisque fired ceramic to ~1000°C, and then exposing the hot ceramic to various treatments. The examples below have two different processes:
Naked Raku invovles coating the bisque fired ceramic in a layer of terra sigillata (sealed earth) and bisque fired. It is then coated in slip and glaze, which is heated to 950°C. The ceramic is taken out hot and placed into a reduction chamber full of carbon containing materials such as wood shavings and paper. The oxygen-free environment ecourages the formation of carbon soot, which penetrated cracks in the glaze and stains the ceramic body. The hot ceramic is them removed from the chamber and sprayed with water to remove the glaze, leaving the raw ceramic exposed.
Obvara does not require any surface treatments before firing. The ceramic is heated in the kiln to 900°C, removed while hot, and plunged into a vat of liquid fermented bread dough. The extreme heat causes the liquid to boil and burn off, leaving a graduated colour from white to dark brown.