My father, a wine grower and maker planted some grape vinew in my orchard. Next morning I felt sorry for the the unplanted branches and asked my husband to plant them. Anywhere. Several years later, on a hot summer day I was showing my potager to my two eldest childhood friends and they spotted the grapes on the vines by the fence. And could not contain their hilariousness. They offered to come and pick grapes in the autumn and even make wine for me. They offered to do it in a traditional way by pressing all the juices out of each and every grape with their bare feet. Now, these two friends are high flyers. One is a solicitor for a large international bank, the other is a chemical engineer, pedicured feet etc. It was simply hilarious to imagine them lifting their skirts and stomping on the grapes. As there was to be a minimal amount of wine made out of those grapes, I decided to make some bottles. Also, I made some flowers to turn the bottles into vases just in case we eat all the grapes before autumn picking.
Raku firing really is one of the most natural techniques that you can encounter in working with clay. In loose translation the word “raku” means contentment and enjoyment in happy accident..
Originally created for the Korean tea ceremony, and further developed in 16th century Japan.
In raku firing all of nature’s elements are used in the process – earth, fire, air and water and together they create an unpredictable and unique style .
The process of Raku firing differs from other firing methods because it requires the fast removal of the piece from the furnace at their maximum temperature. While red hot, the pieces can be reduced using smoke from flammable materials, or enhanced with alcohol, or decorated with horse/pet hair and feathers.
It is a rather dangerous, unpredictable and amazing process.