I have my own wheel, and kiln, of course, and have accumulated a vast range of glazes and finishes over the years so everything is to hand when I turn my attention to ceramics – whether clay or stoneware. I am especially fond of Raku.
Raku ware is Japanese in origin: Its creation differs from ordinary pottery in that a stoneware piece is removed from the kiln at an extremely high temperature; the thermal shock causes fine fissures in the glaze. The piece is immediately placed in a closed container filled with combustible material and instant combustion causes the production of intense smoke which gets into the fissures. This “shock treatment” of the piece means that the precise nature of the finish can never be predicted accurately and it is therefore impossible to produce two identical items. The results are invariably outstanding.