“Raku”, which literally translated means “rejoicing the day”, is a very ancient technique born in Japan in the XVI century A.D., linked to Zen philosophy.
The decorative effect, with its metallic reflections and ”craquelè” (the numberless small glazing cracks), together with the peculiar working process, makes it a really exciting technique.
At first the objects are moulded using fireclay, a particular kind of clay which resists to shocking high temperature ranges.
A first firing is carried out, in which temperatures near to 950°C are reached. Afterwards the objects are glazed and ready for a second firing.
The peculiarity of Raku technique is in this firing method: when the objects are white-hot they are removed from the kiln and put into special metallic boxes, smothering them into straw or sawdust which immediately go on fire.
Inside the closed container the smoke enhances the typical glaze cracks and blackens the non-glazed ones. The ware, after having lost its heat, may be pulled out and carefully cleaned from the thin coating remaining after the second firing.