Dating from the 1960s, this pottery vase was made by a friend of ours who has since gone on to become a monk. In his earlier life, he was an artist and art therapist. He is renowned for doing good works within the most needy communities. In keeping with his legacy, a portion of the purchase price will be donated to a local hospice care facility here in Florida.
This piece is very ephemeral. The very nature of the RAKU pottery making technique supports this - every inch of this small piece is full of variety and surprise. Here is a definition of the process as found in a pottery encyclopedia: "The Raku technique generally refers to a type of low-firing process that was inspired by traditional Japanese raku firing. Western-style raku usually involves removing pottery from the kiln while at bright red heat and placing it into containers with combustible materials. Once the materials ignite, the containers are closed. This produces an intense reduction atmosphere which effects the colors in glazes and clay bodies. The drastic thermal shock also produces cracking (known as crackling since it is deliberate)." This piece exemplifies that to the nth degree.
Looking like it was made from a block of iron ore or volcanic rock, this piece seems to ooze texture and color. Predominately shades of black to gray, it is infused with flowy shocks of green. It has a very uneven textured surface ranging from rough and porous looking to shiny, craqueleur glazed finish. All of this is an uncontrolled by-product of the process of raku firing.
Our friend certainly had an idea of what would come out of the firing hole. He controlled the form and what a wonderful little form it is!
We have treasured this piece for over 40 years and it is now time to pass it on. Brother Robert would be proud to know that a portion of the proceeds of this sale will benefit Hospice by the Sea in Boca Raton.
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