First made as hand-moulded tea ceremony bowls in 16th century Japan, rakuis a form of ceramics practiced by artists around the world. In a style popularized in the 1950’s by American artist Paul Soldner, glowing red hot ceramics are removed from the kiln and smoked in a reduction containers. Raw clay is blackened and bright colored raku glazes crackle. Due to its fragile and porous nature, raku ceramics are non-functional and are best as hand-sculpted art pieces.
Playing with Fire
The American raku process produces surprising results, which made watching Thai artists play with fire at a recent workshop in Chiang Mai especially exciting. The Setpember workshop was held at Baan Kaang Wat Art Community and organized by Empty Space, a local arts group. Thai ceramic artists Kritchnun Srirakit, Komol Kongcharoen, Chatchaiwat Chungchoo, and Nupol Wiriyawong lead the workshop. Learn about their 8 step process by reading below.