Pandaji's Blog

Art, research, education

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Raku Dolls heads

Raku Dolls Heads with succulent plant hairdos.


Press molded in two piece molds, using crank  or porcelain clay. Bisque fired to 1000 C then glazed with raku clear glaze. Fired to 960C and then smoked in sawdust.


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Raku at Greenwich Community College 2017

Student work from this years Raku course.

 Showing great use of wax or no glaze for black areas.



Handcarved Salt dishes, which stacked for firing, as no glaze top and bottom, thus taking up less kiln space than they would have, had they all been fired separately.

Vessels dipped in white and copper glaze not overlapping in some areas leaving unglazed areas which go black after firing when smoked in sawdust.

Showing wax applied before dipping into glaze, the wax resists the glaze and goes black after firing when smoked in sawdust.

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Naked Raku 2016


Naked Raku achieved by applying terrasigilata to bone dry coiled vessel and burnishing to make a shiny sealed surface. After bisque firing a crack off slip is applied and then exactly 24 hours later a clear glaze applied on top.

The black marks are made using sgraffitto, carving through the glaze and slip.

The work is then Raku fired and then smoked in sawdust. After removing from the sawdust and plunging into water, all the glaze and slip “crack off” returning the surface to the burnished unglazed but crackle smoked surface.

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Raku Party in India

Having a raku party is a great way to introduce the raku technique to anyone. It involves making and bisque firing pieces ready for glazing on the day, plus making raku glazes for participants to use. Clear glaze and copper glazes give great results. The recipes we used were made by my friend and glaze specialist Lekha.


Lekha weighing copper carbonate.


Everything in India is hand made including the kiln and the “chimta” or tongs, used to remove pieces from the kiln when the glazes have melted.IMG_8413

Kiln made by Anirudh Panday, Rakesh testing the burner hole size.


After removing hot pieces from the kiln they are placed into scrunched up newspaper in metal bins, and left to smoke in a reduced atmosphere for at least 5 minutes.


some of the results from our raku party


Copper and clear glazes on porcelain,  deliberately painted, leaving spaces for the matt black obtained from the post reduction smoking in newspaper.


Copper matt, smoked for two minutes in newspaper then “burped” which allows oxygen to combine with copper then sprayed with water at the point of most colour.


Wax resist to give black areas, clear glaze on porcelain tile.


Wax resist to give black areas, clear glaze on porcelain tile.

Thank you Lekha for making this raku party happen.