If you want, skip the pictures and go right to the
Here's a summary of the process that goes into creating a piece like the "Raku Leaf Print Vessel" on the work page (this is as I know it -- in otherwords, not the definitive word on the process).
Actually there's more to it, sorry, I've skipped many small steps.
- Dave throws the pot on either a kick-wheel or an electric wheel run by a generator (since they have no electricity there). The larger pieces are thrown in many different segments that are joined together.
- Boni or Dave (and sometimes their children, I've spent many hours working out there) rub leaves (real leaves off real trees, usually taken in the Autumn) into the still malleable surface.
- Then, using the leaves as a mask, a red iron oxide is applied over the leaves. After the leaves dry, we remove them. This oxide is what gives the pottery its distinctive deep colors.
- Dave bisque fires the piece, this firms up the clay, preparing it for the the remainder of the process and the final firing.
- We glue leaf stencils to the piece with rubber cement and then clear glaze is applied over the whole piece, thus creating another layer of texture.
- Dave then raku fires the pot. This is an amazingly dramatic thing to behold, after bringing the pot almost up to 2000 degrees farenheight he pulls the lid of the kiln off, and reaches into the blazing inferno (sounds clisheish and dramatic, but it really is a "blazing inferno"), pulls the pot out of the kiln and places it into a barrel lined with fir boughs. He covers the pot with straw or more boughs and seals the barrel. The pot reduces for a few hours in the barrel, the reduction is what creates the unpredictable and beautiful fluxuations of color in the pottery.
- Then comes the anti-climatic, cleaning, priceing, packing, and delivering (often I think the most difficult part comes here, especially the pricing).