Raku ware originated in Japan in the 16th century. It was closely bound to the tea ceremony where small bowls were made then taken from the kiln whilst still red hot, allowed to cool and used to serve tea, in one sitting. Bernard Leach, our greatest studio potter brought the technique to England in 1920.
The Raku pots that I make are biscuit fired in an electric kiln before being glazed with a copper matt glaze and re-fired to 1000 degrees centigrade in a small gas kiln. On reaching temperature the lid of the kiln is removed and the red hot pots removed with tongs and placed on various beds of sawdust. The resulting flames which course around the pot, chemically change patches of the glaze, sometimes producing spectacular results.