Wandering the Whistler farmers market is always an inspirational experience. Last weekend I met an amazing artisan Kathleen Tennock. Her pottery was so beautiful, I just had to blog about it! The pieces below are the result of a process called Naked Raku which consists of an unglazed surface.
The process (in Kathleen’s word) is as follows
‘I make my vessels on a potter’s wheel, they are then dried, burnished and coated with a thin clay slip called Terra Sigillata before they are bisque fired. The bisque-fired piece is then coated with a resist slip to prevent the glaze layer from adhering permanently to the surface of the work. The glazed piece is taken from the kiln when it is red-hot and placed in a chamber of combustible material like sawdust and other natural material. The heat of the pot ignites the sawdust and a lid is put on top of the chamber to seal off all oxygen and to form a reduction atmosphere. The severe temperature changes the slip resist as well as opens the glaze up in some areas to allow the carbon from the smoke to penetrate the clay. After smoking the piece for about 10 min it is removed and placed in cold water. This removes both the resist slip as well as the glaze leaving only the raw clay and the carbon marks left by the smoke. This method of primitive firing offers spontaneous surface decoration and is particularly suited to the task of learning how to let go.’