Raku is an ancient Oriental process of firing that produces rich varied surfaces, that contain an otherwise unobtainable look, unlike any other firing approach.
Raku is a special clay body able to withstand extremes and thermal shock. It is not vitreous. Raku pots are placed in an already heated kiln and fired to approximately 1600 degrees.
They are removed from the kiln with metal tongs and immediately thrust into a container of combustible material. The combustible material becomes starved for oxygen; it begins to take oxygen from the glaze, resulting in a “reducing” atmosphere which produces a metallic look.
After being removed from the containers, the pieces are immersed in cold water to halt reduction. The markings in the clay body are similar to the type of markings that can be found on fine leather pieces.