or Luster Raku
My work is based in the Raku firing process developed in 16th century Japan for the Japanese tea ceremony. I have taken this idea to a new level developing alternative Raku techniques over many years using modern equipment and various components including vivid new colors and ferric chloride lusters.
First I throw each piece on the potter’s wheel using a fine grained white clay. Raku is a firing method in which the pieces are glazed and then fired to a about 1800° F. When the glaze has melted, I remove the piece from the kiln with metal tongs, apply solution of Ferric Chloride and place it in a metal container with combustible materials such as newspaper or hay. The red-hot piece immediately ignites the combustible material causing flames and smoke. The container is covered and the fire consumes the oxygen in the container and creates a reduction atmosphere. This atmosphere, along with the smoke reacts with the clay and glaze to create unpredictable metallic and lustrous effects.
Since this process cannot be repeated the same every time, each piece is unique. It is the element of surprise and the unknown that truly interests me. My sense of form color and texture come together and evoke a passionate visual response.