Naked Raku

Naked raku is fired using several steps, the result of which is a distinctive, decoratively fired ceramic piece with an unusual surface treatment. The work is hand thrown and bisque fired as normal. Parts or all of the bisque-fired piece are then covered first with a slip and then with a glaze. At that point, free hand etching of an image is done through the glaze with a needle tool. The piece is then low fired in the raku kiln, and at just over 1400 degrees F, the piece is lifted from the kiln and placed in a metal trash can, on the bottom of which are strips of newsprint and some sawdust. The heat of the piece sets the newsprint and sawdust aflame, and immediately the can is closed. After several minutes the piece is removed from the trash can and washed. During the washing cycle, the glaze chips off leaving the etched image, which has now turned black from the smoking process, visible on the surface.