Firing Techniques- raku, horse hair, saggar, naked raku

Naked Raku Pottery

     

Naked Raku is a variation derived from Western Raku firing techniques but differs in that these smoked pieces are unglazed. Each piece is burnished (polished) after throwing which achieves a smooth, silky surface. It is allowed to dry completely and several layers of a fine, liquid slip called Terra Sigillata are applied and polished again after each coat. Following the initial firing, the piece is coated with a thick layer of slip, dried, then a crackle glaze layer is added. The slip acts as a barrier or "resist" layer which prevents the melted glaze from adhering to the piece so that the slip and glaze will separate from the clay surface after firing.

Functional Trays

Tracey hand builds a variety of functional trays in different styles, sizes, and colors.  All Trays are dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe.  Tracey creates an even slab of clay which places into one of her many molds to create her one of a kind trays. She uses different textures to create her unique trays. After the piece is dry, it is bisque fired in an electric kiln before being glazed and fired a second time.

Raku Pottery

The modern Western process for raku firing has evolved from the ancient Japanese Raku firing process.  After the piece is formed and bisque fired, the piece is covered with raku glaze and fired in a propane kiln until it reaches around 1600-1800 degrees. The pot is removed from the kiln and placed into a reduction chamber with combustable materials. The lid is placed on the chamber to trap carbon from the smoke on the pot. 

Horsehair Pottery

Horsehair Pottery - most of our horsehair pieces are thrown on the wheel.  Once dry, it is covered with Terra Sigillata then bisque fired.  For the second firing, we fire the piece in a propane kiln to 1300 degrees.  We pull the piece out of the kiln while hot and lay horsehair on the pot.  As the hair burns away, it leaves squiggly lines where it touched the pot. Each piece is unique due to the random design from the hair.

Aluminum Foil Saggar Fired Pottery


Most saggar pieces are wheel thrown, but Tracey does hand build some pieces.  Once dry, the piece is covered in Terra Sigillata then bisque fired.  For the second firing, we cover the piece with Ferric Chloride, sprinkle sugar on it, add a horsehair and then wrap the piece in aluminum foil.  The piece is fired in a propane kiln to 1350 degrees and then removed from the kiln.