Raku began as an art form in 16th Century Japan, introduced by a Korean potter living in Kyoto. I am inspired by the simplicity, immediacy and honest approach of the raku ware which was originally used to create vessels for the Zen Buddhist tea ceremonies.
For raku I use stoneware clay which can withstand the shocking temperature changes. The fiery raku approach produces copper lusters, metallic sheens and crackling.

Special glazes turn molden quickly in an outdoor kiln. As soon as the glaze becomes red hot glass, I open the kiln, lift the glowing pot, placing it into combustible organic material.

Immediately the glowing ceramic forms ignite these materials into burst of flame in the seconds before the container is sealed. Later, when the pieces are removed from their "carbon chamber," I find flashes of copper, glowing metallic and varying tones of green, brown, rust on clay that has turned black from combustion.
Crackling is attained by cooling the pot briefly by blowing on it before I submit it to combustion. This rapid cooling produces a tinkling sound as glaze crackles, cooling and shrinking faster than the pot.

I love the volcanic, earthy quality of these pieces. Focusing on the gifts of flame and glaze, ash and clay allows us to live in the moment, and to appreciate the immediacy of each original piece. I find joining branches a perfect way to finish off the drama.

Because raku pots remain porous, they do not hold water unless specially treated. My raku vases are treated to be functional vases.
Each piece will be different, created by extraordinary circumstances. Raku teaches us to be happy with the moment and the results attained within the moment.