In the first stage of making raku pots, the process means pots are thrown on the wheel using a clay body which is resistant to the thermal shock of the firing process .
When the pots have dried for a day the profile can be refined by turning.
The pots are left to become bone dry and a coating of terra sigillata is applied to the surface.
The work is polished at this stage and left to dry.
The pots are loaded into an electric kiln and fired to 950 degrees centigrade.
Bisque fired work is coated with a resist slip and glaze and fired one piece at a time in a Raku kiln.
When the temperature has been reached the lid of the kiln is opened
The work is removed from the kiln using tongs.
The piece is glowing molten hot at this stage.
The work is sprayed with an air compressor to encourage the glaze to crackle.
The piece is transferred to a smoke bin lined with newspaper.
The heat of the pot immediately causes the newspaper to ignite.
A lid is put on the container and the work is left to smoke for a few minutes.
When the time is up the piece is lifted out of the smoker.
The work is placed on warm bricks and left to cool
The parts of the pot which were not covered by glaze have turned black.
When the pot cools slightly the glaze and slip fall off revealing the crackle pattern on the surface of the pot.
Raku is about the process, the materials, the firing, the cooling, and the unpredictable results that make each piece unique.