Raku comes from seventeenth century Japan: a technique used to create small bowls used especially for “tea ceremonies”, a moment of meeting and spirituality between artists. Today, still, these pieces are always hand-made, with the intention of melding the spirit of man together with the elements of nature. Working the clay is itself a very involved process: from a lump of clay a piece is formed, and it is fired once. It is then enriched with decorations made with oxides and glazes. During the second firing the temperature reaches about 1000 degrees celsius. At that moment, the piece is luminous – living heat. The pores of the clay are open and the oxides reach fusion point. This is the moment when the most spectacular phase is reached – reduction.
Just imagine: the incandescent piece is taken from the kiln in a reduction container, previously filled with paper, sawdust, or perhaps dry leaves which, on contact with the heat of the piece, burst into flames.
The container is then closed, and the amount of oxygen inside is reduced. The flames are replaced by whirling smoke; this is the phase when the oxide reaction takes place, causing the unique and luminous reflections.
If, until now, everything had been measured, dosed, mixed and understood, the reduction phase is the time when the artist can no longer intervene. Creating Raku means that , every time, you are in tune with simplicity. Raku embodies the harmony between the artist his environment and his work.