Raku Sculpture J.W.Gruber

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Raku Sculpture and Raku Pottery by J.W.Gruber
Raku Sculpture Hawk Mask
Raku Sculpture
Hawk Mask

a mythological work created in Switzerland
Raku Sculpture Cougar

Raku Sculpture
a raku fire cat
Raku Sculpture Amazon Man
Raku Sculpture
....looking out through the forest.......
Raku Sculpture Spike
Spiked Collar Raku Sculpture
......pierced boutique display sculpture
Raku Sculpture Tree Head

Raku Sculpture
Tree Head
..connected through the earth
Raku Sculpture Alien Head

Raku Sculpture

Alien...sculpture for piercing boutique display
Raku Sculpture Sun

Raku Sculpture
a Sun peaks ...through
Raku Sculpture Moon

Raku Sculpture

.....and the moon glows
Raku Sculpture 2 Piece Bowl
Raku Pottery Bowl and Stand
slab formed 2 piece set
Raku Sculpture Long Tongue
Raku Sculpture Long Tongue sculpture for piercing boutique display
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Website created by
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raku workshop by Milton Gruber
Raku Sculpture Mask Wonder
Raku Sculpture Masks of Eternity

Raku Sculpture

Masks of Eternity
Raku Pottery Vase Teardrop

Raku Pottery Vase

slab built

Raku Sculpture Absract

Raku Pottery
Abstract Geo

slab built
Raku text

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Raku Sculpture
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Original Raku Sculpture and Raku Pottery Created by Artist

Raku History
...Raku as a sculptural technique is relatively new compared to the origin of it's inception and even older when considering the birth of it's inspiration. Originally the Raku technique was used to create tea sets for the Japanese tea ceremony. In the 16th century Raku tea service pottery was developed by Chojiro, the son of pottery makers Ameya and his wife Teirin. Chojiro's work so pleased the ruling territorial lord that he was given the title symbol "Raku" from the Chinese character Kanji meaning enjoyment, pleasure, contentment. The development of Raku pottery opened the door for the lower classes to express their spiritual qualities through the tea ceremony. Before Raku the tea ceremony was almost exclusive to the monks and upper classes. The lower classes could not afford the expensive productions of porcelains more typically used at that time. The Raku technique is that of a very fast kiln firing to a lower temperature maturity. When maturing temperature is reached (usually from 1750 to 1850 degrees F) the ware is removed immediately and cooled in water. The result is an economical, aesthetically pleasing, pottery that does not cause an offensive sound if the teapot should touch the tea bowl. This is due to the lower density of the fired clay and the glaze crackle that occurs when cooled quickly in water. With the discovery of tea in China and its subsequent introduction into Japan by Buddhist monks the use of tea grew from medicinal use into a set of guidelines from which proper appreciation of the tea would be attained. With Raku this came to mean something more. It evokes an appreciation of the natural order of things that are fresh and uncomplicated. Raku espouses the spontaneity of events, almost accidental, where the elegance and uniqueness of "imperfections" may be seen from a perspective of unpretentious beauty. A connection to the elemental transition of impermanence that contacts the primal source of human nature. In the 1920's Bernard Leach, a well known English potter, learned the Raku technique while in Japan. When he returned to England he experimented with smoking the pottery in combustible materials thus introducing the style well known today.
John Gruber
Raku BowlRaku Bowl
Raku BowlRaku Bowl
The Raku works on these pages were created from slabs
of good robust raku clay. An original white crackle glaze formula was used and provided very nice crackled patterns.
The glaze needed to stress crackle fairly consistently once it was removed from the kiln fire at approx. 1750 degrees F and placed into a tub full of sawdust igniting the sawdust in a blaze of fire. The resulting smoke then penetrated every area that was not glazed including the crackles in the glaze as it cooled. The black charcoal appearance is the smoke from the sawdust embedded in the raku clay body. The contrast with the glazed portion worked beautifully!
Raku Sculptures created at my brother's studio in
La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland
raku fireraku sculpture fireraku fire
created in Switzerland
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