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Review of "Raku Firing, Advanced Techniques"

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Cover of the book,

Cover of the book, "Raku Firing: Advanced Techniques."

Photo © 2009 Beth E Peterson

The Bottom Line

If you are interested in pursuing raku as a ceramic process, this book has a wealth of information for you. Many of the articles are "this is how we did it" looks into kilns, clay bodies, glazes, and processes. A few are about personal experiences with the process, of which the first article, by Hal Riegger, is also a great look at the history of western-style raku.
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Pros

  • Excellent demonstrations of raku firing techniques.
  • Gives solid explanations on how to build several types of raku kilns.
  • Glaze, slip, and galze recipes from several potters.

Cons

  • This is a compolation of articles which have been previously published.
  • The freaky clown on the cover makes it hard for me to pick the book up.

Description

  • 8.5" x 11" softcover, fully illustrated, published by the American Ceramic Society. Expanded & revised from the 2004 edition.
  • Includes over thirty articles, encompassing both technical information and personal experiences of raku artists.
  • Contains raku glaze, slip and clay body recipes from several potters. Also includes safety information.
  • Articles have been previously published in Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated.

Guide Review - Review of "Raku Firing, Advanced Techniques"

This is a book well worth investing in if you do, or plan to do, western-style raku. It covers a great deal in its 135 pages, from clay bodies, slips, glazes, kilns, safety, and creative expression.

I think the thing that impressed me most was that editor Bill Jones included multiple articles on how to build a number of different types of raku kilns, opening possibilities for an even larger number of potters to work in this dramatic and fun technique. I also found helpful tips on handling large forms and new decorative techniques.

Don't let the subtitle, "Advanced Techniques," scare you. This is a book that I think will benefit newcomers to raku as much as those who are experienced raku practitioners.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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