Ceramics class studies ancient Japanese firing technique

Andrew Roland

Students in Glenda Taylor’s Ceramics I class explored raku, an ancient Japanese pottery firing technique by firing handmade artwork on September 15. Raku was developed by Japanese artists to create dramatic cracking patterns on ceremonial teabowls, and has seen a modern rebirth in contemporary American art.

Artists are drawn to raku by the dramatic colors and cracking patterns created through a rapid heating and cooling process.

Taylor’s students explore raku by making traditional Japanese teabowls. After an initial firing, students glaze and fire the bowls using a small raku kiln on the Art Building patio. After the bowls reach the proper temperature, the bowls are removed from the kiln and placed in sawdust to stain the bowls with smoke. Finally, the bowls are quenched in water and allowed to cool.