Hot & Smokey

book coverRaku, Pit & Barrel: Firing Techniques is a collection of twenty-eight articles from Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Today that will both inform and inspire anyone who is interested in alternative firing methods. Most of the articles cover raku, from its earliest use in the West to modern innovations such as using underglazes and stains and even high fire glazes under raku glazes, spraying compressed air on hot pots to increase crackle,and quirky firing practices such as using a cardboard box instead of a metal barrel for reduction in what the author describes as “a pyromaniac’s dream.” Other articles cover saggar firing, pit firing and barrel firing, plus information on different forming methods. Many of the articles on raku start by describing the history of the process and this gets repetitive if you gobble up the book in a few sittings like I did, but the book contains such a wealth of other information, from step-by-step directions, complete with photos, to more philosophical discussions about ceramic practice, that you’ll want to have it near at hand to refer to whenever you’re planning to submit your pots to a hot and smokey firing. The Ceramic Arts Handbook Series also includes Electric Firing: Creative Techniques, Glazes & Glazing: Finishing Techniques, Throwing & Handbuilding: Forming Techniques, Surface Decoration: Finishing Techniques and Extruder, Mold & Tile: Forming Techniques.

Raku, Pit & Barrel: Firing Techniques
Ceramic Arts Handbook Series
Edited by Anderson Turner
Published by The American Ceramics Society
ISBN 978-157498288-6

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