Raku Blog 1

Hi Everybody,

Today’s blog is all about this amazing clay, known as raku. I recently delivered a ceramic sculpture class, something we have done for many years, making large robust animal sculptures, using raku clay.  The clay itself contains what is called grog, which is essentially tiny bits of clay that have been fired and then ground up into a powder. Consequently, this makes the pottery more structurally sound, so it was an excellent choice for large ceramic animal sculptures. However, there is a lot more to this clay, which in traditional Japanese pottery was used to make tea bowls for use in their famous tea ceremony. The name raku is interesting, as it roughly translates into “happiness in the accident”. It’s the technique of firing raku pottery, which makes the difference. It involves taking the glowing red pots out of the kiln and placing them in a material that would be able to catch fire, such as sawdust or newspaper, or dunking the hot pots into a bucket of water. The heavy grog helps the clay to withstand the thermal shock and prevents the pots cracking. This technique then also creates amazing random colours!

There is still a lot more to this clay, so I will do more blogs on this subject soon.  Stay tuned until next time.

Happy potting,

Barry