Special K!

Now that Frankenstem has been bisque fired, it is time to thinke about the finish. I decided to go with a Raku firing for this – smoke firing that turns the unglazed ceramic black, and in this case, will give a very contrasty crackle to the glazed parts.

I coated each white panel with the special glaze – this will give me strong contrasting shapes in black and white.

I then decided to throw a pot. I have never done this before, nor really ever wanted to, but the mood took me and I was given a crash course. This is my very first attempt:

My second throw was even better and I managed to sculpt some shape into the base:

I’ll keep you informed of their progress…

Several days have now passed, and Frankenstem has been subjected to some harsh smoke firing (Raku) and has been cleaned up for a formal viewing:

Raku firing is prone to disaster, and it is often the case that pieces can crack in the process. This was no exeption – it broke at the weakest part, but if it was going to go, it would have been there…

Nothing that a bit of superglue won’t fix!

The real appeal of Raku is in the quality of the glazing. It  creates layers of clear crackles and underlying black ones where the smoke has penetrated. I ended up photographing lots of this type of thing:

(click on the image for more detail)

But after a while I got to thinking about the visual similarity between the detail in the Raku glaze and its map-like qualities…


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