Life's Journey is a mural of Threads.

The threads of my mural are influenced by my spiritual practices, personal values, the love of friends, and special people that have been my guides. They are strengthened by my husband's love and support. The colors are brilliant with the influence of my enthusiasm for continued exploration for meaning and truth.

My threads will continue to weave their unique patterns as I explore life's roads, paths, alleys, and avenues. My beliefs will provide many hues as I continue search for a personal meaning of my existence. Artistic challenges and accomplishments will add the sparkle!

The colors radiate the pulse of my life. There is a rhythm to the design. I have danced, whirled and twirled, even stumbled, but, I do have style!

I am excited about sharing the developing design with you through this Blog.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Raku Pottery

It was a weekend of earth, fire, and water! I participated in a yearly event in Boulder City - a Raku Pottery Gathering. Raku ceramic pottery is a Japanese technique used since the 16 th century.

This process involves the drawing of red hot glazed clay pieces from a kiln, the subsequent smoking of the glazed clay pieces in a sealed container of burning paper (saw dust, dried pine needles), and the tense excitement as the final results emerged from the wheel barrel of cool water!

My friend Jan has selected a glaze (liquid latex) for her clay piece. She has added several different glazes to accent the clay pottery design.After the glaze dries, it is placed in the kiln. This particular kiln was designed and constructed by a team from Parumph, Nevada. They visit Boulder City for this annual event. After the temperature reaches near 1800 degrees ( 20 minutes) the pieces are removed.

It is the passage from the fire to air which determines the type, quantity and size of the cracks and the tone of the colours. This firing technique is harsh and some of the pieces break when they are taken out of the oven. We had a very experienced team a very experienced team, a nd only 10% of the pieces broke.

They are red hot and long tongs are used to carefully submerge each piece into a sealed tin container lined with smooth paper. As each piece is carefully placed into the container more paper is added to surround the hot clay pieces. A layer of paper is placed on top and the cover tightly placed over the smoking container.

The paper catches fire and creates lots of carbon. This is called a reduction process. The oxygen is replaced by the carbon. The temperature change continues the the cracked patterns which become filled with the black smoke. The reduction is what creates the unpredictable and beautiful fluxuations of color in the pottery. This step took approximately 15 minutes. Their shirts read, "Raku Pyromaniacs!"

The final step is the removal of the pieces from the tin containers, to submerge them in cool water to set the design

Raku means "happiness by chance."

We excited to view are completed art pieces! The entire process influenced the final design and color: the position in the kiln, the placement in the tin container, the amount of fire near the piece, the length of time exposed to the cool air. We were eager to see our pieces lifted out of the cool water!

Cleaning our clay pieces removed the loose carbon and revealed the brilliant colors and designs.

My completed Raku Pottery! I will add beads, charms, and perhaps feathers for a final accent.

A fun weekend........

Here is a outstanding piece created by one of the skilled artists! The cracking and carbon filled areas are very evident.


  1. Jan, how exciting! I love Raku and Jim and I collect it. My home is full of some beautiful pieces. I have observed it being done and it always amazes me. I miss you!

  2. Hi Jan!!!

    How are you feeling?

    The pottery is FUN to read about!

    Email me just to say HI when you can OK?


  3. Hello Jan, I was visiting today and your music and sight warmed my heart! Thank you for the link to my blog! We are definitely sisters in this journey.

  4. Happiness by chance!
    I love it!
    And what an amazing view you have!