Inspired by traditional Japanese raku firing, Western (typically referred to as American) raku is a relatively low-temperature firing process using clay that is either under fired or otherwise formulated to withstand the thermal shock of being removed from a kiln at top temperature. Work is removed from the kiln at bright red heat and subjected to post-firing reduction (or smoking) by placing in containers of combustible materials, which blackens raw clay and craze cracks in glaze. American raku is not usually considered food-safe, partly because of the under-fired nature of the clay body. Some of the most popular glazes used in raku tend to be unstable glasses that can leach glaze material when in contact with food acids. This is particularly true of glazes with high copper content, which are some of the most popular in American raku. See raku (Japanese). Source: Clay: A Studio Handbook


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