Life with Fire
Pottery has always had an element of flame involved in the work. From the gas kiln to the pit fire all are using heat and flame to make alchemy, by turning clay into a stone. However no process of fire involvement is as dramatic or magical for me as Raku. Though the process has changed from its origins long ago the idea of making something beautiful while allowing nature to have a final say in the look of the work, is still evident.
I love to have control of much of my work from the clay making process to alteration and making of glazes. However the act of raku takes much of that controle out of my hands. It is freeing, yet terrifying.
Each piece must go through what all bisqueware does in an electric kiln to harden. Only to be glazed and placed into a gas fire and heated in a very fast and shocking manner to its final temperature in a matter of minutes rather than hours. While still glowing removed next it is to be placed into a container of flammable material. Once the flames have subsided this once mound of formed clay has become something unique and beautiful.
From the ashes of man made flame a piece of artwork emerges like a phoenix rising from the dusty refuge to show itself in all it’s glory.