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Building a Raku Kiln

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I know that the results with Raku are fairly unpredictable.


Actually American raku is FAR more controlable than most people think. The "haphazard" concept comes from people who really have not spent all that much time working with the process to learn TO control it. That is because it is so easy to just "have at it" and get pretty "flashy results" without having to really be in much control at all. Many folks don't get beyond this level of understanding, and unfortunately...... then go on to teach it to others from this basic level of understanding.


If you want to know about American raku control... look into books and workshops from people like Steven Branfman or Marcia Selsor. I had the pleasure of learing a bit about American raku from Paul Soldner back in the 70's. What he shared was not "haphazard" or unpredictable at all.


There are lots of effects that can be done repeatedly and relatively precisely. Back in the 70's when I was teaching at MassArt, I taught a course called "Fire Painted Clay", one component of which was utilizing raku as a finishing process. It involved using very tightly controlled American raku process....literally being able to "paint with fire".


And yes, particular combustibles do have a tendency to produce certain types of effects. You can use this as a part of learning control of the process. And as I say time and again..... test, test, test.






I fired my first raku with Paul Soldner back in 1967 in the snow!







Hey, my topic still lives. That's good, because I still need to post photos of my intake, to see if there are any improvements anyone can suggest.


I've actually been looking forward to doing another firing here soon. I've been waiting on some glazes I ordered, so I've just been twiddling my thumbs. It's a shame, because the weather here is supposed to be above average, which would make the firing slightly more comfortable for me.

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