“Salt firing is a vapor-glazing process wheresalt (sodium chloride) is introduced intokiln firebox at high temperature. The saltvaporizes, and sodium vapor combines withsilica in clay surface, forming extremely hardsodium-silicate glaze” .
“The process of Raku firing differsfrom other firing methods becausethe pots are removed from the kiln attheir maximum temperature.Thermal shock of this rapid coolingis stressful on the pottery. It isachieved by using an open clay body.The porosity of the clay body actslike a shock absorber, preventing thebody from immediately fracturingwhen the pot is removed from thekiln. Raku glazes are oftenfractured, which are referred to asCrazing. These crackle glazes areenhanced by the post firing smokingof Raku pots that embeds carboninto the crackles of the glaze” .
“Naked Raku is as thenamesuggests, naked, meaning that the end resulthas no glaze on it, justthe bare clay surface.”
“A saggar is a container surrounding theceramic ware as it is being fired in thekiln. The purpose of the saggar is toprovide an environment for fuming.Various materials such as garbage,seaweed, straw, sawdust, wood excelsior,magazine pages, copper or brass wire,salt, copper carbonate, iron oxide, cobaltcarbonate are placed in the saggar or tiedto the pieces. At the firing temperature,these create a "fuming" atmosphere andthe chemicals are transferred to thesurface of the clay to form random andserendipitous patterns and designs ofcolor. The color range is black, gray,pink, maroon, orange, blue, green andother colors depending on whatchemicals are used in the saggar” .
“Horsehair raku is another techniquethat requires no glaze.The piece ofpottery, which has previously beenbisque fired, is loaded into the hot rakukiln. At about 1400 °F it is removed fromthe kiln with long tongs and set upon aturntable.Quickly, and carefully, strands ofhorsehair are laid on the surface of thepot.They immediately "frizzle" andsmoke. The burning hair leaves its markpermanently on the face of the pot. Thesmoke also leaves its mark giving thepiece a smoke "blush". Once the desiredpattern of burned hair is complete thepot is allowed to cool naturally.Afterward the ash residue is washed fromthe pot and when it is thoroughly dry it iswaxed and buffed to a soft sheen “.
“Raku is a pottery technique thathas its origins in 16th centuryJapan. We are pretty sure that itwas developed by Korean pottersunder Japanese rule but the exactcircumstances of it’s developmentand in what context it wasdiscovered is a mystery. The rakutechnique, like other potterytechniques such as salt glazingand pit firing, primarily revolvesaround its firing processalthough involvement with rakuoften goes much deeper into itsphilosophy, roots, and culturalsignificance. Traditional raku andwestern version of raku aresimilar in many ways thoughthere are some significantdifferences” .