Here you will find raku pottery related information and supplies, including tongs, raku clay, raku glazes and books, videos and dvds on raku firing. We also stock an inventory of specialized raku kilns for sale.
Raku is an ancient Japanese technique that has been rediscovered by
modern potters who appreciate its unique beauty and metallic luster and
colors. The raku process involves reducing (starving the oxygen) the
glazed raku pottery in combustible materials such as leaves, sawdust,
newspaper, etc. When the pieces are ready to take out of the raku kiln, they are placed in galvanized trash containers with combustible materials and covered. Once the pieces are cooled down, they are removed from the
washed and reveal the rich warm effects of raku.
Raku Firing Information
RAKU FIRING - Raku glazes can be fired anywhere from 1600 F up
to cone 06 (1850 F) in either an electric or gas kiln. We recommend
firing 850 to 859 to a peak of 1700 - 1750 F and 860 to 867 to a
peak of 1600 - 1650 F. They should be allowed to cool in the kiln
to 1600 F. Different combinations of peak temp and reduction starting
temp will produce different results. While still red hot they should
be transferred as quickly as possible into a reduction bin (typically
a lidded metal garbage can or small metal container that has been
lined with organic material, such as newspaper and/or sawdust, etc.).
As soon as the pieces are in the bin the lid should be put on to
keep oxygen from entering the container, in order to develop the
reduction atmosphere. The pieces should be allowed to cool in the
bin for at least 20 minutes. When the red hot pieces go into the
bin the organic material ignites producing flames and smoke so this
part of the firing, particularly the opening of the reduction bin,
should be done outside.
* Try to size the reduction bin to the size of the piece
* Establish a good seal to the reduction bin so that air is not
entering and smoke is not leaving the bin.
*Position the organic material ( newspaper, sawdust, etc.) and
the piece so that the flames can get all around the piece.
*Different organic materials may produce very different results,
for example a glaze reduced in newspaper could be a beautiful
blue color and the same glaze reduced in sawdust could have a
metallic copper appearance.
*Pieces should be cleaned immediately with water and a hard bristle
*After cleaning, warm the pieces in the raku kiln to evaporate any water from the piece. This helps to set the colors more permanently.
Olympic Gas Kilns Manual
Olympic Electric Raku Instructions