Raku-fired creatures

The Raku method of firing pots originated in Japan where it is traditionally used to make bowls for the Japanese tea ceremony. The technique is really dramatic as it involves removing red hot pots from the kiln and cooling them rapidly in the air or in a bin of combustible material such as wood shavings or paper. As a result of rapid cooling, raku glazes develop a characteristic crackle pattern which becomes accentuated by carbon deposits from the burning paper or wood and unglazed areas of clay become carbonised and take on a subtle black sheen.