Raku is a type of Japanese pottery used in Japanese tea ceremonies. In the traditional process, the fired raku piece is removed from the hot kiln and is allowed to cool in the open air.
Raku’s unpredictable results and intense color attracts modern potters. These patterns and color result from the harsh cooling process and the amount of oxygen that is allowed to reach the pottery. Depending on what effect the artist wants, currently the pottery is either instantly cooled in water, cooled slowly in the open air, or placed in a barrel filled with combustible material, such as newspaper, covered, and allowed to smoke.