We started making the sheep in the spring of 2008 with our move to the West Coast. On our arrival we were graciously invited to house our kiln with a friend's studio on Hornby Island shown here tucked neatly into the woods. We travel there to fire on a regular basis.
The Raku firing process originated in Japan forever ago and has been reinterpreted many times since then. The primarly idea is to remove the fired ceramic piece from the kiln while it's red hot. The reduction part of it came along later and I believe was developed in North America.
Each piece is hand built, and let to dry. The work is then bisque fired which is a relatively low temperature firing.
It is then glazed and put into an already hot kiln for the glaze to mature.
Once the glaze reaches temperature the pieces are taken out one by one and put into a reduction chamber.
The red hot piece ignites the combustible materials and burns for a short period of time. We then suffocate the fire with the metal can which pulls all the oxygen from the chamber and creates a chemical reaction with the glaze.
The result is the high metallic effect and the deep black where the clay was not glazed, from the carbon of the fire.