Read on to find out more about this traditional, yet also contemporary art form.

The meaning of the word raku is “fun, delightful, joy” and is from the Japanese language. Raku  楽

Raku generally refers to a type of low-firing process that was inspired by traditional Japanese raku firing dating back to the early 1550s, where pots were rapidly heated after decoration and then taken out of the kiln to slowly cool.

The original Japanese style of raku is an outgrowth from Buddhist influences in life and especially in the tea ceremony.

Western-style raku usually involves removing pots from the kiln while at bright red heat (around 1000 degrees celsius) and placing them into containers with combustible materials, such as sawdust or newspaper. Once the materials ignite, the containers are closed. This produces an intense reduction (lack of oxygen)  and cooling atmosphere which affects the colours in glazes and clay bodies.

With our iconic bottle kiln at the centre, Sharpe’s Pottery Museum is ideally placed to offer community pottery sessions.
Building on last year’s success to include Raku workshops and slip casting sessions we  will soon be in a position to offer a wider range of pottery classes to include not only Raku and slip casting, but also hand building and throwing skills development sessions. Newly sited in our airy and spacious Glazing Room there will be plenty of opportunities to develop your creative and artistic pottery skills.