The Raku Process

All work is biscuit fired in an indoor electric kiln. A high alkaline frit glaze is then applied before the work is then taken outside to be raku-fired in a gas kiln.

img_0870    Mandy placing work in the gasfired raku kiln.
img_0875    When the glaze reaches about 900 degrees the lid is opened and the work is swiftly removed using tongs.
 img_0879    Next the work is placed in a smoke pit...
 img_0882    ...covered with sawdust, and the lid replaced to stop the flow of oxygen.

 After around 20 minutes the now-blackened sculpture is removed.

The glaze has crazed and the gaps filled with carbon to give the black and white crackled effect.

 img_0835    Wearing protective gloves, the piping hot work is carefully placed on a metal tray to cool.
 img_0854    Water is poured over the sculpture to extinguish any flames and cool the work.
 img_0886    Back in the studio , the work is cleaned up using fine brushes and wire wool.