Black Raku chawan, or tea bowls, are currently gaining global attention. The founder of the Raku family of potters created this implement at the request of Sen no Rikyū, who elevated the Japanese tea ceremony to entirely new levels of refinement. What is the allure of these tea bowls that crosses national borders? We asked Raku Kichizaemon XV, the current head of the Raku family, about their appeal.
Source: The Deep Stillness of a Raku Tea Bowl | Nippon.com
Kaz Ota introducing lemon wood ash from an Akagama wood firing and Jamie Boran blowing out the burners and ports at Aardvark Clay & Supplies. Continue reading
Have you ever wondered what causes “flashing” colors on bare clay in atmospheric (e.g. wood, salt or soda) firings?
Source: Micro Mondays: Crystals of Color | NCECA Blog
Firing was 6 hours in neutral/oxidation to reach cone 9, then ash introduced gradually over the course of a 3 hour reduction soak dropping cones 10/11. Firing ended with a 3 hour reduction cool down to about 1850F.
Yesterday we fired the Stanford kazegama again and tried a new method of introducing the ash. Previously we fed the ash into the intake of our large combustion blower, following Steve’s original method, and this worked well except that many pots ended up with unfortunate clods of unmelted ash. In the above photo you can see a metal sealed can with a red rubber hose and larger diameter steel-mesh hose attached to the lid (the upside-down white plastic bucket isn’t doing anything). We put ash into the metal can, blow compressed air in through the red hose, and allow a well-dispersed stream of ash to enter the burner through the metal hose. The can is loaded only half-full with ash, and we didn’t screen the ash ahead of time. Some shaking of the can is necessary but the ash goes in gradually (we put in about a gallon over the course of about two hours) and without clods. Larger pieces of “sintered ash” get left in the bottom of the can, and probably help stir up the finer ash when shakin. You could do the same thing with any sealed container with bulkhead connectors. The can we use has 1/4″ NPT fittings.
Kazegama Rebuild – January 2016
For 15 years, my Kazegama was bolted to a trailer which allowed me to travel to different venues to put on Kazegama workshops. It has gone through many adjustments and changes due to the knowledge gained over many years of firing. Continue reading
Reduction cooling produces some amazing surfaces in wood fired ceramics as seen in the following pieces by Jonathan Cross and Mitch Iberg.
Johnathan Cross vessel from the Firebox kiln (Akagama) Continue reading
Simon Levin’s Yellow Halo, 8 in. (20 cm) in diameter, porcelain, Avery slip, decorative fire-clay wadding mark, anagama fired.
To Simon Levin, there is a science to every part of wood firing, including what goes into wadding and how it’s used in the loading and firing process. So he put together an overview of wadding based on his own experience and the experiences of other wood firing potters.
Source: Ceramic Arts Daily » Wadding for Wood Firing