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Raku - A ceramic technique

Cape Palette View from front

Lesley-Ann, a renowned ceramicist of international acclaim, has been the recipient of multiple ceramic awards, including the Corobrick Award in 1982 and 1996. Her area of expertise lies in handcrafted pottery techniques such as:

Pinched Pots: This technique involves molding the clay into shape by pinching it between the thumb and fingers. The result is a pot with a unique texture and shape that is irregular and organic. An example of a pinched pot is the ancient Greek red-figure pottery, which features intricate designs and patterns.

Coiled Pots: This technique involves rolling out coils of clay and then layering them on top of each other to create the shape of the pot. The coils are then smoothed out to create a cohesive surface. An example of coiled pots is the traditional Native American pottery, which is characterized by its geometric shapes and bold colours.

Paddled Pots: This technique involves using a wooden paddle to shape the clay by gently tapping it into place. The result is a pot with a smooth and uniform surface. An example of paddled pots is the Japanese Haniwa pottery, which was used to create figures of animals and people.

Not only has she excelled in creating exquisite hot art pots, but also in producing her personal works using raku.

What is Raku?
Raku is a type of pottery that originated in Japan in the 16th century. The word "raku" means "enjoyment" or "ease" in Japanese, and the process of making raku pottery is known for its spontaneity and unpredictability.

Raku is made by firing clay at a relatively low temperature, then quickly removing it from the kiln while it is still hot and placing it in a container filled with combustible material, such as sawdust or newspaper.
The heat from the pottery ignites the combustible material, creating a reduction atmosphere that causes the glaze to crackle and the clay body to turn black.
The pot is then removed from the container and rapidly cooled, resulting in unique patterns and colours that cannot be replicated. Raku pottery is often characterized by its irregular shapes, rough textures, and metallic finishes.

We are holding an exhibition of Lesley-Ann's works this month from the 30th of March till 15th of April

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