Raku & Naked Raku - Russell Mott Ceramics



Definition of Raku

Borrowing from Russell Mott's friend Steve Branfman‘s description: “…raku may be described as a low fire potting technique in which pieces are placed in a pre-heated kiln (usually about 500 degrees F) and brought up to temperature very quickly (usually, in about 20 minutes). When the glaze has matured, the pieces are removed from the kiln with steel tongs and either cooled in a bucket of water, or cooled more slowly in the open air, or placed in a barrel of combustible material, covered, and allowed to smoke for a period of time. Steve Branfman, RAKU, Krause, 2001.

The Raku Firing Process

Each raku pot is lifted from the kiln at about 1850 degrees F and placed in a sand box. They are then showered with strips of newsprint to re-oxidize them in the open air. As the flames engulfed the pot, they are covered with a metal container and the container is pushed into the sand cutting off the oxygen. Then it stands undisturbed for about 10 to 12 minutes. The container is pushed over, exposing the pot to the open air once again. Immediately the glaze began to ‘bloom’, and as that takes place, the piece is sprayed with water to ‘freeze’ the various colors.


Please NOTE: Raku pieces should be considered primarily decorative. They are fragile and not waterproof.