Raku ware is a type of Japanese pottery that is used in the tradition Japanese tea ceremony. I understand that the Japanese tea ceremony is very different to the Chinese one. It’s the effects that these forms of ceramics have that interest me, not the way there used. The process to produce a Raku pot involves firing the hand shaped pieces at a low temperature and removing them while they are still glowing hot. The pieces are then rapidly cooled which can stress the ceramics and cause imperfections, these imperfections often sport beautiful results. These beautiful results can be seen within the images below.
The reason these effects interest me is due to something that came out from me research. Many people have said that they would like there tea set to be unique to them. By undergoing the process of Raku for each tea set sold the user would receive a pattern that is only present on their own unique set. I would very much like to incorporate some sort of Raku style approach in my final design
The main issues with this process lies within its crowning glory, the fact that the process involves the use of non-matured clay (due to low firing temperature) and can cause cracks in the glaze means for unsafe use. When Raku pieces are used for food or drink consumption, the particles can build up in the cracks and start to rot. This then allows the growth of bacteria and is likely to cause food poisoning. Another issue occurs when the immature clay is put in contact with the liquid with in the vessel, this is due to the cracks piercing through into the un-fired clay, causing the toxins to leak into your drink.
Due to all these reasons I will be unable to use this form of production, although it has deeply influenced my ideals for my final piece.