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To fully understand the Raku Firing Process, one would have to delve into and study Japanese culture. Raku is deeply associated and intertwined with the ancient Japanese tea ceremony. Serving and drinking tea using Raku fired bowls is an age old “happening” that is still performed in some areas of Japan. Raku glazes contain a lot of copper that gives the fired pieces: green, red, blue and copper shades. The temperature is rather quickly run up to about 1800-2000 degrees F and then the kiln is raised, revealing red hot pieces. The piece then placed in a bucket containing combustible materials. As soon as the red hot piece comes in contact with the combustible materials, spontaneous combustion occurs. The lid is put over the can to make reduction atmosphere and let the flames seek for the oxygen removing it from the glaze and clay body of the piece. The result is black clay body and very interesting colors on the piece. No two pieces of Raku will ever be the same. It's like Christmas!
Raku ceramics by their creative process and their very nature serve only for decorative purposes and are not intended to be used for food.
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