Tall, Dark, and Mysterious

7/15/2004

Raku fire

File under: 1000 Words, I Made It Out Of Clay. Posted by Moebius Stripper at 6:11 pm.

Most of my pottery is fired in an electric kiln, which is easy to maintain and operate, but doesn’t lend itself to very bright or metallic colours. In a raku fire, the pots are left to burn in a sealed metal container, and the fire must leach oxygen from the glazes in order to burn. The results are varied:

A smoked effect, obtained by painting a pencil holder with a thin layer of iron oxide and firing it in the raku kiln.

Some other oxides - alas, I forget which - and oil on red clay.

White crackle glaze over B-Mix clay (which is magical - it’s got all of the good characteristics of porcelain - its colour, its texture - but with considerably greater structural integrity. It’s the only clay I’ve ever been able to make tall vases with) and trailed with oil. The unglazed bottom of the vase turned black. This vase also cracked in the raku fire, which is more stressful than the traditional cone 6 oxidation fire, but happily it cracked cleanly into two large pieces which I sealed together with Shoe Goo - the crack looks like a deliberate part of the crackle pattern.