About the Raku Firing Process
The Raku firing process for ceramics was developed by the Japanese in the 16th century. Raku fired pieces are unlike conventional pottery in that they are porous and fragile due to the intense firing process.

The fish I make are first bisque fired in an electric kiln and then glazed. This is followed by the Raku firing which takes place in a gas kiln and involves no more than two or three pieces at a time.

Steps of the Raku Firing Process

The pieces are fired to a temperature of 1,850 degrees in a gas kiln.

The pieces are then removed from the kiln.

They are then immediately placed in a container with a combustible material such as straw or paper.

This material bursts into flames immediately on contact with the extremely hot ceramic.

The container is quickly sealed and the flames extinguished by the resulting absence of oxygen.

This reduction process completely consumes the oxygen in both the clay and glaze. Exposed clay is turned black, and depending on how the piece was glazed, crackle manifests in some places and unusual flashes of colors in others.