Raku pottery is an ancient Japanese art form that requires a meticulous process. But the final step is pure chance, and for Steven Forbes-deSoule, that’s the joy. “It’s like being a kid at Christmas,” he says.
Pieces are rapidly heated in a small kiln to the optimal temperature of 1900-2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Then they’re removed and placed in a metal can with newspaper. “The paper catches fire immediately, and, after a few seconds, a lid is placed on the can extinguishing the flames and creating an oxygen-starved environment,” the potter explains. This method produces a variety of effects on the piece, and it’s never the same look twice.