The writing and images in this book are a visual essay considering raku. It examines the work of contemporary clay artists within an understanding of critical historical contexts and from a variety of perspectives: It commences with an analysis of the material chemistry at the heart of process. It then progresses to examine a maker’s search for ideas and the ways in which different artists have found inspiration in both the organic and the man-made environment. The artists are examined within categories that highlight family resemblances:
the allusive – the way that ceramics has often been employed to refer to other objects and traditions.
the metaphoric – the use of clay to express ideas beyond the realm of ceramics.
the representational – the creation of figurative pieces.
the processual – the making itself as a means of expression.
It concludes with an essay that considers the place of contemporary raku within twentieth-century ceramics, as a response to the writing of Bernard Leach who first introduced the technique in the 1940’s.