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Japanese Kanji character for Raku

montefin's Raku Pottery

Raku fired porcelain bowl. 4 O'CLOCK BOWL

Raku bowl with blood orange glaze. BLOODY BOWL

Raku bowl with wax-resist collar and black crackle. WHITE CRACKLE BOWL

Raku arose in a cultural menage á trois in between Zen and the cult of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Raku partakes of an aesthetic all its own. Its qualities define and qualify it as itself. In particular, two highly subjective qualities wabi, and sabi, are used as aesthetic determinants of rakuness, plus a third, wabi-sabi, the offspring of the first two.

Raku is the most spontaneous of potteries and dates from the late 15th century AD. Its gritty, groggy clays and thin glazes, which fuse at relatively low temperature (about that of a bonfire, 750° C.), must survive the most rapid and violent firing technique.

The Raku potter exercises such direct control over each pot that individuality is unavoidable -- and is the inescapable mark of Raku down to the scars left by the iron tongs used to yank the pots from the inferno, the cracks filled with soot from the smouldering combustibles the pots are smudged in, and the final maniaical drowning in cold water to seize the moment at its height. Raku suffers through to Art in ways no other potteries dare. How zen.

For MORE RAKU click here. To go to the Main Pottery Page to see other types of pottery click START.

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