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Crackle & Luster

After bisque firing, the piece is glazed and fired in a raku kiln. It is taken out of the kiln, with tongs, when it is at 1800 degrees.  Pots that have a luster or coppery glaze look are immediately put into a container with combustible materials, such as sawdust, or leaves.  The immediacy is important here as you don’t want the pots to be out in the air too long to “reoxidize”.  Once the combustibles catch fire from the heat of the pot, a lid is placed on the can so that the fire can suck up all the oxygen in the atmosphere of the container.  It is that reduction that changes the colors of the glazes to a metallic luster. The smoke and fire are true variables in this type of raku firing as you never know just how the pot will turn out.

 

Pots that are glazed for a crackle finish, are treated a little differently.  They are removed from the kiln with tongs and left out in the air for a bit.  The sudden change in temperature causes the glaze to shrink and crack.  You can actually hear the “pinging” sound as the glaze cracks.  The pot is then put into the can with combustibles, where the hot pot starts a fire.  Additional combustibles are added and when there is a good fire going, the can is lidded and the fire goes out.  The smoke inside the can then permeates into the cracks in the glaze and accentuates them.  Any part of a pot that is not glazed will turn black from the smoke inside the reduction can.

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A Bad Wind

A Bad Wind

This Raku pot has a lichen glaze that was poured on.  The remainder of the body was smoked in the post-firing reduction.   The lid has an attached wooden handle with glass and stone beads and a blue jay feather.

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The Clamorous Owl

The Clamorous Owl

This carved pot has a quote from Shakespeare on the side. “The clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wonders at our quaint spirits.  Sing me now asleep.”  It has two owl carvings, one owl perched on a tree branch and the other owl in flight.  There is also a carving of a full moon.  Atop the lid, you’ll find a wooden branch with a little clay owl peeking around the side.

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Antique Crackle and Smoke Pot

Antique Crackle and Smoke Pot

This special pot is multi-layered.  The black smoked vines and leaves are raised relief.  The crackle glaze varies from ivory to light turquoise and smoked to accentuate the crackles.  A salt water wash applied to the glaze before firing produced a pink blush.

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Copper Luster and Smoke Pot

Copper Luster and Smoke Pot

This pot has black smoked vines and leaves are raised relief.  The body has a green to copper luster finish.

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Smoke and Crawl

Smoke and Crawl

This cute little Raku pot started off with a crackle finished body that is smoked.  The rim and lid have a white crawl glaze.  The lid is adorned with a found wooded handle, raffia and glass beads.

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My Life Has Been a Tapestry

My Life Has Been a Tapestry

This large Raku pot was fired with a copper stain and the glaze was altered after firing to produce the tapestry like design.  It’s lid is adorned with a found wooden handle, raffia and glass beads.

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Lidded Copper Sand Pot

Lidded Copper Sand Pot

Coppery glaze with some rainbow coloration pot.  Lid has driftwood handle with glass beads.

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Copper Sand Pot with Lid

Copper Sand Pot with Lid

This rainbow colored pot has a driftwood handle adorned with raffia and beads made of glass and stone.

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With These Hands

With These Hands

Smoked hand print with a crackle glaze.  Woven together with pine needles and finished with beads and feathers.

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