Decorative > Naked
These pieces start with a low fired and polished pot. The process involves applying a slip (liquid clay) to the ceramic surface; glaze is then applied on top of that layer. During the firing process the glaze matures and becomes a glass coating. The piece is removed from the kiln and placed in a reduction chamber (fancy wording for trash can full of saw dust!). The saw dust in the chamber is ignited by the 1800° piece of pottery. As the fire swirls around and engulfs the pot, the glaze begins to shrink and crack on the surface. Since the chamber is closed, the smoke is trapped in the chamber with the pot. The pores (where there wasn't any glaze) accept the smoke and turn black. The glazed areas resist the smoke (except for where it cracked). After the piece has cooled it is removed from the chamber and if done properly, some glaze will start to fall off of the pot (having been resisted by the clay slip applied before the glaze). All of the glaze is removed and the slip is washed from the surface, in a sense “undressing” it (that’s why it’s called Naked Raku). The results are dark blacks against contrasting bright whites. The white areas are broken up by stained-glass-like black lines where smoke was allowed through the broken glaze layer.