Raku Pottery 101
For those who are looking for something a little bit different to give to friends and loved ones as gifts or something incredible to add to their own pottery collections Raku pottery has a great deal to offer. Each piece is completely hand crafted in the Raku style and prepared to very exacting specifications in order to hold the title of Raku pottery. Not only is the method of design exacting but also the firing method and the glazing method must meet very specific requirements for the proper finish. The final product however, is nothing short of spectacular in beauty when this process is properly carried out.
Raku pottery is not for the faint hearted or those who prefer a quick and easy method of crafting pottery. There is very little that could be considered quick or easy about this process and if you are planning to purchase Raku pottery be well advised that you are paying for the process as much as you are paying for the finished product. Of course, the return on that investment is a unique and beautiful addition to your personal pottery collection of the collection of a friend or loved one.
The extreme temperatures that are used in the creation of Raku pottery leave a beautiful finish or glaze on the pottery itself but render it impractical and virtually useless for many of the common uses of traditional pottery. It should also be pointed out that many pieces of Raku pottery, because of the materials used in the paint and glaze are not food safe products and will not hold up well in either microwaves or dishwashers. While many pottery pieces around the world are quite practical to own, Raku pottery is purely decorative and should not be expected for the common uses of other pottery pieces.
If giving this as a gift to one who collects pottery you may want to make a point of mentioning that the piece is Raku and providing any care instructions that may have come along with the pieces you purchased. Most artists do include specific care instructions and cautions for Raku pottery pieces if for nothing else to preserve the beauty and protect the labor of love that went into creating these pieces.
The Raku style of making pottery originated in Japan and has since lit the world afire, almost literally, with its widely held popularity. Though few craftsman have managed to dive into the Raku style whole heartedly, this style still remains in high demand around the world, particularly in the United States where we are seeing a few more artists coming out each year with a few Raku pottery pieces in their collections. Many of these pieces are purchased rather quickly though, despite high prices, continuing the great demand for these pieces.
If you are extremely interested in owning a piece of Raku pottery it is quite possible to add smaller pieces to your collection at a much smaller price than the larger pieces, though these are still much higher than pottery that has been fired using traditional firing methods. The good news is that even at higher prices, it is possible to own some of these stunning pieces of pottery that are works of art in and of themselves even on a more modest working budget. Those who avidly collect Raku pottery exclusively will be the first to tell you that this is a significant investment though very few feel they aren’t getting their money’s worth in enjoyment of product. As long as you work to take proper care of these stunning pieces they will provide years of enjoyment for new and old collectors alike.
Raku pottery, like all art, isn’t for everyone. But those who love it are typically passionate about their love of this particular style of creating pottery. If you haven’t had the pleasure, make a point of checking out any local artists that may have Raku works in their collections.