Earth Fire Air Water
The Raku technique appeared in Japan during the XVI century to create bowls for the tea ceremonies.
According to the Zen philosophy Raku captures harmony through the essence of semplicity combined with the unpredictable result.
As for our life we can plan but we have to accept how it will evolve.
The Raku pieces must be fired twice, after the bisquit at 950/1000° the pieces are treated with oxides or glazes and then fired once again at 950/980°, at this temperature it is necessary to extract them still firing and put into a container with organic material that will catch fire.
The unglazed clay will absorbe the leaves smoke that will turn it in brown/grey
while the oxidised one will assume unpredictable different tones of colours depending on how they burn.
The pieces are pull out and directly dived into cold water....the result is always surprising!
The thermal shock to which the pieces are subjected would completley break normal ceramic, that's why specific refracting material is added to the Raku clay.
The acceptance of the developing as it has to be is part of the Raku philosophy.
I learnt this wonderful and fascinating technique through a course by the master Elio Cristiani.