This method of Raku firing Steve developed borrows from theJapanese method of Raku fired pottery: a shock resistant clay is used as in the Japanese method.
The form is created, dried, low bisque fired and later decorated with wax to create a wax resist image. Following this, the piece is glazed with low fire glazes. The glazed pottery is heated to the melting point of 1800 degrees. Then while red hot, the pottery is pulled from the kiln and placed into a container of combustible material (leaves, sawdust) and quickly sealed.
The closed container causes a reduction firing in which the smoke enters the clay and glazes, causing a chemical change in the glazes and blackening of the bare clay and waxed areas.
After about 5 minutes the pottery piece is pulled from the reduction container and dipped in cold water causing some checking and very individual, one of a kind results.