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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Copper Matt Raku Thrown Pot 0189

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Description

Getting the copper matt effect you want in Raku is all about glaze manipulation and timing.
How bright the colours you get depends on:

Firing
  • the thickness of glaze and how you apply it
  • temperature and duration of firing
Post Firing
  • temperature at which you start reduction
  • timing before and during oxidisation
  • rate at which the final cooling takes place
Don't be disappointed if it doesn't work to begin with, it's something you have to keep trying - and so much depends on the recent offerings you've made to the kiln gods!

Approx Size: 6x8in 16x20cm
Price: £75 (including VAT & delivery)

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Lustre Raku Thrown Pot 0188

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Description

One of the reasons I like working with tall pots is trying to get the magical hue produced by the flames to lick as high up the body as possible.

Also, remember that the rims cool more quickly than the rest of the body and that affects the colours you get.

Now, c'mon guys - you regular readers should know by now what I'm on about!

Approx Size: 9x7in 23x18cm
Price: £95 (including VAT & delivery)

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lustre Raku Thrown Pot 0187

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Description

Raku is a firing technique - fast firing, rapid cooling. Lustre refers to the glaze used and the finished texture.

To get this range of colours and the opaque quality of the glaze, I used five different metallic oxides in the recipe; tin, copper, cobalt, silver and iron.

For this particular pot I fired in a reducing atmosphere in the Raku kiln for the colour as well as reducing again in post-firing to get the lustre. In lustre glaze the contrast between the matt body and the spectrum of glowing iridescent colours can be spectacular due to the way the light and glaze reacts next to matt black.

Approx Size: 4x8in 11x20cm
Price: £70 (including VAT & delivery)

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Slip Resist Raku Thrown Pot 0186

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Description

In Raku firing, slip resist is one of the most strange and fascinating methods to create beautiful patterns in a smooth surface. In the slip resist technique, before the raku firing, the surface of the pot is covered with two layers, the first being the slip and the second the glaze.

It is strange in a way because we want the slip to crack. This is so that the smoke from the combustion material during reduction can penetrate the crack to mark the body. Sometimes patches can fall off during reduction, exposing larger areas for the black to colour.

Once cooled, I chip off any remaining slip to reveal the entire body. The final step is to wash it thoroughly and polish with beeswax.


Approx Size: 6x8in 15x20cm
Price: £95 (including VAT & delivery)

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lustre Raku Stretch Pot 0185

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Description

One of the reasons I like this particular pot is that for its large size and extremely thin walls - it's in one piece!

The survival rate through the whole process for Raku pots of this size and thickness is low - when potters first start trying the Raku process, a breakage rate of 50, 60, 70% isn't unusual, more for larger works.

If you follow some rules you can increase your success, with a good rate being around 20% breakage. Even 20% breaks my heart but I can accept.
  • Uniformity of clay - well wedged and kneaded to make sure it has the same consistency throughout
  • Do the bisque (first) firing properly for Raku - it's vital to use a constant heating cycle
  • In the Raku firing, the early stage of the heating cycle must be steady and relatively slow
  • Use gloves, not tongs, to remove the pot from the raku kiln
And finally, be lucky too!


Approx Size: 11x10in 28x25cm
Price: £190 (including VAT & delivery)

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Copper Matt Raku Thrown Pot 0184

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Description

One of the things I've found over the years is that I'm able to predict the final effect of the Copper Matt glaze pretty much most of the time.

Some people find the effect elusive and slippery to pin down, even some ceramic artists who've been around the block a few times. However, once you've got lucky a few times and start to understand the key concepts (and then add a good dollop of experience), you find your success rate gets much higher. But remember, there are always still surprises!

Approx Size: 4x4in 10x11cm
Price: £45 (including VAT & delivery)

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Lustre Raku Thrown Pot 0183

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Description

The dominant feature of this pot other than the lustre glaze is the burnish. When I'm burnishing I follow the normal throwing and turning process, applying the technique before final drying and bisque firing .

The secret to getting a good burnished result is to ensure the body has reached the right level of dryness before working on it (and when it has, we call this "leather-hard" - no jokes please!).


Approx Size: 8x9in 20x23cm
Price: £130 (including VAT & delivery)

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Lustre Raku Thrown Pot 0182

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Description

I really like the shape of this one - it's a well balanced pot and aesthetically pleasing. The vertical stripes are unglazed areas showing the body of the pot blackened with carbon during post firing from the combustion material (sawdust).

I love working with ceramics - especially with Raku firing. There are so many opportunities to express my artistic desire; at the throwing / forming stage, the types of glaze and recipe (some secret!!) used, timing of reduction / re-oxidation and weather conditions (humidity / temperature).

Raku results aren't really unpredictable, it's just there's so much possible variation to explore at each step. After a while, it becomes intuitive - more art than science!

Approx Size: 8x8in 18x18cm
Price: £110 (including VAT & delivery)

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Lustre Raku Stretch Pot 0181


Description

I like working with lustre glazes for the same reasons as with copper-matt—that is, they are very sensitive to slight changes in technique, which allows me to achieve a huge variation in finish.

There are so many variables when using metallic glazes. In Raku firing intuition plays a much bigger role than science, as I'm sure other ceramic artists would agree!

Approx Size: 5x6in 13x15cm
Price: £90 (including VAT & delivery)

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Lustre Raku Thrown Pot 0180


Description

"Raku" is really an honorific title given to a particular Japanese potter (and by inheritance, his family). When the technique was brought to the west, the artists incorrectly then (but acceptable now) used the term Raku for the name of the technique.

When this mistaken use was pointed out, in deference to their Japanese colleagues, western artists for a time used instead the term "alternative firing". Today (just like with "hoover" instead of vacuum cleaner, or "googling" instead of searching) it is has become acceptable by common useage.

Approx Size: 3½x5in 9x14cm
Price: £45 (including VAT & delivery)

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Copper Matt Raku Thrown Pot 0179


Description

Raku is a technique for firing ceramics - rapid heating to usually around 1100°C 2000°F, then with rapid cooling, sometimes using water.

Copper Matt is so called because of the high proportion of copper oxide present in the glaze. A master of the technique aims to reduce it all to copper, and then to re-oxidise it just enough for the wonderful hues of this style to take and be frozen into the pot.

When throwing a pot destined for the copper-matt treatment, I always take into account how thin the walls are because the colours depend upon the rate of cooling—and the thickness changes that rate.

You could say, I pot through thick and thin!

Approx Size: 4x6in 10x15cm
Price: £45 (including VAT & delivery)

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

High Temperature Porcelain Stretch Pot 0178


Description

Porcelain is a clay which needs to be fired at a high temperature, 1260°C (2300°F) or higher. Very importantly (with a few exceptions) special high temperature glazes need to be used. Porcelain is inherently strong, even stronger than glass, which it is closely related to. During firing the porcelain clay fuses together in the same way that glass does in its making.

The reason that porcelain is so sought after is the quality of translucency you get from a very thin body and the strength of porcelain means it can be very thin indeed.

Approx Size: 7x7in 18x18cm
Price: £120 (including VAT & delivery)

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Crackle Glaze Raku Thrown Pot 0177


Description

Raku is a firing technique whose name originated in 16th-century Japan. This type of glaze is designed to produce cracks in the glaze's surface during rapid cooling. During the reduction phase, smoke produced by the burning of the combustible material penetrates the cracks.

This leaves a very pleasing, semi-random, crackle pattern that I find very appealing.

Approx Size: 3x5in 7x14cm
Price: £45 (including VAT & delivery)

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Slip Resist Raku Thrown Pot 0176


Description

Raku is a firing technique - fast firing, rapid cooling. Slip Resist is a masking technique for the reduction part of the process (after firing is complete). Wherever the slip isn't, the smoke penetrates to the body of the pot and does it's work in turning it dark.

The trick is to make sure the slip cracks to allow the smoke to penetrate, ideally where you meant it to happen - but the kiln gods always have the last say!

Approx Size: 7x7in 18x18cm
Price: £110 (including VAT & delivery)

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Copper Matt Raku Thrown Pot 0175


Description

Raku is a firing technique - fast firing, rapid cooling (sometimes in air, sometimes in water and sometimes in a composite combustible material for oxygen reduction). Copper Matt refers to the glaze used and the finished texture. Thrown just means that it has been thrown on a traditional pottery wheel, with some turning to make the final shape until I'm happy with the form.

I really like the way the glaze has developed on the body - the shapes and colours remind me of the colours of a Devon coast at sunset in the Autumn.

Approx Size: 4x5in 10x13cm
Price: £45 (including VAT & delivery)

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