Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our process, in pictures...

The latest iteration of our kiln.

Inside the kiln


Pulling the bead rack

Into the fire!

What on earth is Raku???

Raku is a method of firing pottery that began in Japan, 300 years ago. The name Raku comes from the Japanese ideograph, raku, and means enjoyment, contentment, and happiness.
Western RAKU, while inspired Japanese method, is the result of work by Bernard Leach and continued by Paul Soldner and others in the 1950’s. The clay is fired in such a way that creates unpredictable smoke patterns and spectacular metallic or crackle effects in the glazes. In Western Raku firing, the pots are fired quickly. Once the temperature of the piece reaches between 1650 and 1900 degrees, they are pulled from the kiln and placed it in trash can containing combustible materials such as leaves, sawdust, pine needles, and/or newspaper. The trash can cover is placed on so that the fire is smothered. The fire pulls the oxegyn from the container as it smothers and causes a chemical reaction within the glaze. This reaction, combined with the smoke gives us the metallic and flat black finishes associated with Raku.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

First Post

We are Glenn and Kathy Amspaugh, Raku Ceramic Artists from Sandia Park, New Mexico. We specialize in Raku beads, pendants and figurines.  
Skull and Marigolds - Raku ceramic beads.

Cowgirl Pearls - Raku & Glass beads with leather.

Humminbird - Raku beads and hummingbird pendant

Courtin' Death - Raku figurine

Beads and pendants fresh from the kiln.