Exactly what does “raku 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.
The Raku Firing Process
Equipment I use in raku firing:
- 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
- eye protection (we use welder’s goggles) for looking into the kiln as it fires
The Raku Kiln
The Raku Kiln can come in a variety of sizes and be purchased commercially or can be made via ‘do it yourself’. I purchased a commercial raku kiln for its size, as I wanted to fire larger work in it, plus have the ability to run the firing by myself.
The raku kiln seen at the left is our raku ‘workhorse’. When it reaches temperature, the lid-which is counter weighted-is easily raised to lift the raku pieces out with tongs. Another feature I appreciate about this kiln is when the lid is lifted, the heat disperses all around making it a more comfortable process for the one(s) using it.