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Raku is an ancient firing technique discovered in Japan in the 16th century and was traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies. It was brought to the west in the 20th century where the process transformed. “Western” Raku creates spontaneous results with vibrant colors, iridescent lusters, and surface patterns that include crazing or “crackle”. The patterns and colors result from harsh cooling processes and the amount of oxygen that is allowed to reach the pottery. Many pieces crack or explode from the thermal shock. In this firing process, bisque work is removed from the kiln glowing red hot, then placed in a barrel with combustible materials (paper, saw dust or straw) where post reduction (smoking) turns the raw clay black and creates a great variety of unpredictable surface patterns and colors. 

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