Raku: Investigations into Fire

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.