Creating Reduction

Earthenware Firings: Raku

CAUTION: Check with your Fire Department about local fire regulations, and have a good water supply nearby. Do not wear fabric that melt or ignites easily. Do not used treated wood or plywood that can release toxic fumes when burned.

Raku or Post-firing Reduction

Another type of reduction is called “post-firing reduction” which is accomplished in the cooling cycle.

After the ware is heated in an oxidizing atmosphere, the ware is pulled (lifted with tongs) and placed in a chamber with combustible material. We often do this by making a bed of previously burned sawdust for insulation, topped by fresh dry sawdust on which the ware is placed. The heat of the ware ignites the sawdust, and when a good flame has developed, we gently lower an overturned metal garbage can to contain the reducing atmosphere for ten to fifteen minutes. By that time the ware is too cool to accept carbon and can be drawn out with tongs and doused in water to complete the cooling.