Raku Cougar

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Raku Sculpture and Raku Pottery created in Switzerland
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Original Raku Sculpture and Raku Pottery Created by Artist
J.W.Gruber

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Raku Sculpture Cougar


The Raku Cougar is Mythological in its conceptual creation. It is based upon an interpretation of our hiddon nature. In each of us is a primal expression of the intimate core of knowledge and experience reflected in the outer shell that we perceive as our human body and thinking mind. Our relationship with Nature is more then as a steward.
We are inseparable!
When I create a piece of work like this I am releasing the boundaries of my human form into the clay.The Cougar was created in the studio of my brother Milton in La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland and fired in the Jura mountains of Switzerland. The sculpture is made with a heavy grogged Raku clay and fired in a Raku style that produces the unique affects seen in the picture. The smoked color and crackle lines are typical of this style of pottery and highly sought after. It is approx. 9 inches high

You can see the Cougar in the kiln fire (left). The picture was taken just before it was immersed in sawdust to smoke.

Raku as a sculptural technique is relatively new compared to the origin of itís inception and even older when considering the birth of itís 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. Chojiroís work so pleased the ruling territorial lord that he was given the title symbol ďRakuĒ from the Chinese character Kanji meaning enjoyment, pleasure, contentment. 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 smothered in combustible materials, usually sawdust. The result is an economical, aesthetically pleasing, pottery that does not cause an offensive sound if bumped. This is due to the lower density of the fired clay and the glaze crackle that occurs when it cools quickly.
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