Today, I thought I would share a few images of new work that I made for an upcoming two-person show at Sorrel Sky Gallery in Durango, Colorado. They asked for a selection of botanical pieces to go with the landscape vases they already have. I included here a few words about Raku and how these are made. If you’re going to be in or near Durango on May 11, stop by for the Gallery Walk reception (5-8 pm) and say hello!
I use underglaze (liquid clay + tint) to paint the images. I have to anticipate what the colors will look like when they’re fired because they’re very different from the pre-fired colors.
One of the appealing things about the raku firing method is the unpredictability–I can’t control how much of the painting burns out during the firing, or how dark/light/large/small the crackle patterns will be. The crackles in the clear glaze are created by the reduction (oxygen-deprived) environment in the kiln. I use tongs to pull the vases out of the kiln one at a time and place them in trash cans with sawdust. Smoke from the burning sawdust stains the crackles black. Raku is very labor-intensive. You can read more about the history and see start-to-finish pictures in this post.