One of my favorite types of pottery is raku. I love the beautiful color combinations in each unique raku piece; my Sinuous Rhythms series of wall hangings were inspired by them. I met Brenda Townsend at last November's Piedmont Craftsmen show in Winston-Salem, NC, and bought one of her lidded vessels to add to our collection. Here's how Brenda describes her process: "...the pieces are removed red-hot and placed in a container of combustible
material, such as sawdust, leaves, or paper. Lacking air, the organic material releases carbon gases that affect the body and glaze of the piece. Due to the severe drop in temperature when the piece is removed from the kiln, the glaze shrinks faster than the clay body. This causes "craze" lines (small cracks) throughout the piece. These hairline cracks are made prominent by the deposit of carbon in them – turning them black. No matter what color clay is used, the cracks and exposed areas of clay will turn black due to carbon deposits."
Enjoy these examples of her work, then visit her website to see the rest of her collection.