Kokopelli is an image of the desert Southwest and is the focal point of this raku vase. I love how the serendipity of raku firing caused a golden highlight backing the Kokopelli. To see more raku vases, go here: https://rakubyshekinahclay.com/raku-vases/ To learn more about Kokopelli; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kokopelli
Beautiful Marble Gallery in Marble, CO has such a wonderful blend of art works in a variety of media. They have carried my raku pottery, raku wall pieces and raku sculpture for years. If you’ve never been to Marble, I surely encourage you to visit. It’s a historical spot and the beautiful marble from the mines there (called Marble marble) is utilized in many municipal buildings in the United States and it gets shipped overseas for use also! AND, if you like Barbeque, Slow Groovin Barbeque http://www.slowgroovinbbq.com/ is fabulous and I highly recommend it!
Marble Gallery customers are watching me as I demonstrate how designs are placed on raku wall pieces. It was fun visiting and talking with interested persons about raku pottery!
This urn was for a family member who loved elephants. First, I threw the urn form on the potter’s wheel and trimmed the bottom the next day. Then I ‘drew’ the elephant on a thin slab of clay, added the design detail, cut it out and added it to the still damp urn form by a joining technique called ‘scoring and slipping’. From that point forward, the elephant addition and the urn are one piece.
This is a new group of work ready for the final glazes and firing process. It’s always exciting to follow each one through the process. And I love bisque ware….the all white forms have a beauty of their own in my opinion.
Raku firing is always full of serendipity and excitement to see the final results of the process! The final ‘coat of many colors’ is always a pleasure to see. While my ‘firemeister’ and husband Robert Leuallen and I have been at this for nearly two decades, it’s still a process that we both love.
These pictures are from a recent firing we were both very pleased with! There are two Lidded Vases, which many prefer using as urns because it’s a way to have an urn in one’s environment as both an object of art and as an urn.
As long as I’ve been making raku and think I’ve seen it all, along comes a new raku pottery piece with coloration I’ve not seen before. I guess that illustrates just ONE of the many reasons I love this process so. I work with a fairly limited palette of glazes but there are many ways of combining them. This particular piece has a matte base glaze with a glossier glaze dripped diagonally over the surface. Most of the time, when I combine these two, the dripped part frequently goes all copper, but in this case it’s a rich deep black and I loved the way it turned out!! I am especially fond of the copper “halo” around one of the black drips in the first picture. I may (or may not) see coloration like this again! Here are the results:
This raku pottery lid was created especially for my Mother who is now passed. I made functional work years ago. Sugar bowls and honey pots were a favorite among my family, but at this time my Mother’s arthritis in her hands was so crippling that she had trouble grasping certain things with her index finger and her thumb.
So, I set about thinking of a way to make a pottery lid in such a way that removing the lid would be easy for her. Then I began using the same type of lid on my raku pottery pieces as many others seemed to like them too.
My raku pottery studio is my ‘happy place’! I love working there and feel so fortunate to have such a wonderful studio right here at home. It holds quite a bit of equipment: 2 potter’s wheels (one for throwing and one for trimming), a slab roller, an extruder, about 9 wire racks, a large Skutt electric kiln and a ‘Peter Pugger’ which enables me to reclaim scrap clay. The pugger is such a workhorse…..and the re-processed clay comes out de-aired and such a wonderful consistency for throwing on the potter’s wheel! My husband Robert Leuallen, who is also my ‘raku firemeister’, manages all the clay reclamation and I cannot say enough about what a fine job he does! We’re quite the team if I do say so myself.
This is a picture of me at my throwing wheel. I’ve arranged this one wall of my studio (the one directly facing me as I sit on the wheel) so that there’s an easy flow from newly thrown items ultimately to the electric kiln at the end of the line. I have a rack between each wheel, so following throwing a piece, it is placed on the rack to my left to dry to leather hard. The next day, I sit at my 2nd wheel and can easily grab the new piece to trim it up. Following that, it goes on the next shelf to my left where it stays until it’s bone dry. When all the pieces on that shelf are dry, it’s very easy to move them from that shelf right into the electric kiln for a bisque firing.
I’m always looking for raku pottery additions and sometimes they come from unique sources!
As I trim my raku pottery, I notice some interesting, organic shapes occur very naturally such as this: to the right is my most favorite Bison trimming tool. I would see these shapes every time I trim pieces and began thinking of how to use them as raku pottery additions.
So, on one of my newly thrown vases, I made a raku pottery addition of the damp, rippled and circular trim piece.
I left the raku pottery addition un-glazed so that it would blacken with carbon when it was fired. One of the unpredictable things that happened when this piece was fired is the rim of the vase (which is usually blazing copper in coloration) had peacock and fuscia colors which perfectly accents the beautiful druzy on the front of the vase! I love it when that happens!!