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Raku Sculptures

Carré d'artistes presents a wide selection of raku sculptures. The art of raku consists of a cooking technique from ancestral land from traditional Asian culture. This way of working with materials has its origins in Japan and Korea and is associated with the tea ceremony. It was from the end of the 1960s that Western ceramic artisans deepened their knowledge of the richness of ceramic firing techniques and among them those of raku.

The Ancestral Technique of Raku

Raku is by definition a cooking technique used in Japan by potters. This art of raku is a ritual that has been known for centuries. This craft work is also very close to the Zen philosophical approach. At the time, artisans enamelled according to tradition and cooked their containers before they could be used to enjoy tea together. Nowadays, this ceramic technique is mainly chosen to create pieces of pottery that can range from small bowls to abstract sculptures, including complex shapes of vases or basins. The artisan potter can give free rein to his imagination.

The Making of Raku Pottery

There are 6 main steps to make a work in raku. To beginning, the artist creates his object from soil with a lathe. He models his forms. In order for the material to resist shocks and thermal variations, the potter can add sand or chamotte, in other words baked and crushed clay. The soil object must dry over time. This can take many days or even weeks. It depends on the size of the carved piece: its weight and size. The potter artist then performs a first firing of his work. Drying in the open air does not remove all the moisture from the soil. The first cooking or roasting allows you to really dry the soil piece. For any roasting and raku sculpture, the temperature gradation must be done gently so as not to rush the material (between 800° and 850°). Once the work is fired or roasted, the artisan potter can begin enamelling. The entire object is coated either by uniform dipping or with precision with a brush. This step requires one to several coats of enamel. The basic enamel of raku is made from materials intended for classic ceramics: minium, white lead, kaolin, silica, borax... Enamels can also be coloured. Raku enamel begins to melt between 820° and 980°. Each type of enamel has its characteristic but also its own firing temperature. The cooking time can vary between 1 to 2 hours. Once the enamel has reached the desired temperature, the artisan puts the raku sculpture in the oven between 800° and 900°. Using large metal clamps, the soil pieces are smoked with straw in a closed container. If the fuel used is coarse or fine, cool or dry or wet this can have an impact on the final result. The artisan ends up thoroughly cleaning the smoky raku sculpture by removing all carbon particles and deposits. At Carré d'artistes, discover raku sculptures by contemporary artists.
(4 Artworks)
4 Artworks
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