Raku Firing Process

picture of raku kiln firing on high

This is our raku kiln which is fueled by propane. It’s on high heat and pieces inside are nearing maturity.

To gain an understanding of the raku firing process, some basics will be covered here. Exactly what does firing process mean? It is the application of heat until the clay or glaze reaches maturity. In the case of raku firing, it is the maturity of the glaze that’s the goal.

picture of raku wall mirror

This raku wall mirror illustrates the maturity of the glossy raku glaze I used on it.

picture of raku artist lynne anderson

I’m wearing a cotton scarf to protect my hair, welder’s goggles for peering into the kiln, long sleeved clothing and gloves.

Equipment I use in raku firing: kiln, long tongs to grasp the red-hot pieces, heavy gloves, long pants and long sleeved shirt 100% cotton, hair covering, various sizes of galvanized trash cans with lids, and eye protection (we use welder’s goggles) for looking into the kiln as it fires.

picture of electric kiln

All of my raku art pieces are fired twice. The first firing, called ‘bisque’ is done in this electric kiln which is fired to approximately the same temperature as the raku firing.

raku firing process-picture of bisque fired oval wall piece

Large hand formed oval wall piece (approx. 27″H X 13 1/2″ W) has just been bisque fired in our electric kiln and is now ready to be glazed.

picture of raku artist lynne anderson prepping for spray glazing

While my indoor booth is outfitted with an exhaust fan, it is still a safety factor to wear a good respirator while spray glazing.

raku firing process-picture of raku artist lynne anderson spray glazing

Thanks to husband and biz partner, Robert Leuallen, I am most fortunate to have this indoor spray booth for glazing!

picture of glazed raku wall piece in raku kiln

The glazed oval wall piece is placed carefully in the raku kiln. Now, the lid may be dropped and temperatures brought up slowly.

raku firing process-picture of oval wall piece being raku fired

Raku firing has begun and the interior of the raku kiln is getting hot.

picture of oval wall piece reaching maturity in raku firing

The oval wall piece is reaching maturity at which point the lid to the kiln will be lifted and the wall piece will be removed with tongs and placed in the barrel with combustibles.

picture of combustion after oval wall piece is placed in barrel

Combustion has begun following putting the oval wall piece in the barrel. At the ‘height of the burn’, the lid is put on the barrel and time is allowed for the piece to cool. After 20-30 minutes, the piece is removed to view its final coloration for the first time!

picture of raku fired oval wall piece

Following being fired, the oval wall piece displays its final beautiful iridescent, metallic coloration!

5 thoughts on “Raku Firing Process

    1. charl7 Post author

      Thank you! The glaze is Dolphin Blue & the recipe is readily available with a google search. Thanks for visiting my website!!

  1. Liz

    I found you on Etsy looking for a piece of the beautiful Raku with the fire colors. Obviously with the name of your pottery business you will understand that God started speaking to me about Raku and the process of firing and how it can be done many times. We go through the fire so many times in our lives, and God uses that to change us into a beautiful likeness of Him. He burns the dross a little more each time, until the beauty that is Him shows through. I have been in love with Raku for this reason, and I feel like He is giving me a message to share. I just came through the hardest fire of my life with a fight with cancer, and I am in love with Him more and feel like I understand his mercy and goodness more than ever in my 62 years. The fiery colors of a raku piece symbolize to me the process of being refined better than any other illustration out there. Thanks for explaining so well the process. I am going to buy one of your little pieces and when my message is ready it will be used to show and tell how it works. Thank you.

    1. Wendy

      My mother just recently lost her battle with cancer, and the urn I chose for her was Raku, symbolizing all the struggles and “fires” she had to go through in her time on this plane. After reading your message (and thank you for your words!), I feel even more certain that now, all of her dross has been burned off, and she is living a life of color and beauty with God now. Your words gave me some peace when I needed that most of all so, once again, thank you.


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