The Different Finishes for Ceramics at RAAQUU
With almost 2 decades of experience in pottery making, Adil has honed his skills in the art of Raku pottery - so much so that he has come up with (and focused on) six different types of finishes or glazes for his ceramic pieces.Smoked Raku
Smoked Raku is more commonly known as ‘Naked’ Raku among the pottery community. This finish gets its racy name because during the process of firing, the outer shell of slip that was applied falls off revealing the “naked” surface of the pot underneath. When it dries, it shrinks and crackles like mud does on the side of a road.
The vessel is fired to 800°C, then carefully removed from the kiln and placed into a metal can lined with newspaper. Then the can is sealed with a tight-fitting lid. This infuses the pot with smoke. The thick slip resists the smoke so that the pot surface remains white underneath it. The crackles in the slip allow the smoke to reach the surface of the pot. When the pot is finished and the slip is removed, you have a pot with a beautiful black crackle surface.
Half Copper Matte
The copper matte glaze is only applied to a portion of the vase, resulting in its body being half-covered in a beautiful unexpected rainbow-like metallic finish after Raku firing. Every vase is guaranteed to be one of its kind, almost effortlessly accenting the very shape of the vase.
The unique finish on this ceramic piece is achieved with a raku matte glaze. The bisque-fired pot is glazed, then placed in an outdoor raku kiln and taken to a temperature of 1000°C. Quickly the red-hot pot is removed and places it in a metal container filled with paper. The hot pot ignites the paper, and the smoke and carbon react with the copper to create exquisite rainbow colours.
Copper Matte is a matte, lustrous, reddish copper glaze that develops an atmospheric and varied surface following a proper Raku firing. Due to the unpredictable nature of this firing technique, results will vary with every firing.
Obvara is a firing technique similar to the Raku technique, but the difference is that the vase gets dunked into a special Obvara mixture and then into water. This results in wonderful unpredictable patterns that look almost like animal prints or wood all around the vase. This technique originated from Eastern Europe and is also said to give an antique-like look to a ceramic piece.
After a ceramic piece is bisque-fired, masking tape or painter’s tape (some like to use washi tape or car detailing tape, too) is used to make a pattern or shapes on the piece in geometric or wavy lines. Once done, a few coats of glaze (Copper Matte Raku is Adil’s signature choice) is applied over the tape, one after another – allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next. Once the glaze is dry, the tape is removed from the ceramic piece. Then the piece is ready to be fired in the kiln, going through the Raku firing technique.
It’s an added decorative element to a ceramic piece, something that only the potter is in control of, to be able to determine the specificity and uniqueness of each ceramic piece.
Carbon Half Copper Matte
A carbon half copper matte piece happens when bisque-fired ceramic piece is not coated with underglaze, but instead is partially covered with a copper matte glaze. In the end, parts of the ceramic piece that have no copper matte glaze, turns out black after firing.