Raku Pottery

Raku

An ancient Japanese pottery firing process introduced in the United States in the 1960`s, used to produce a contemporary style with rich tradition.

If you love Raku fired pottery and are fascinated with the creative process, then your at the right place. Studio 400 west® “Where Mud is made Beautiful”.

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The Process

Glazed pieces of wheel thrown or hand built pottery are quickly removed from a red-hot kiln while the glaze is molten. The piece is then placed in a reduction container filled with combustible material. The container is tightly covered before the pot has a chance to re-oxidize. The smoke caused by smothering the burning material turns the exposed unglazed clay black, thus framing the upper portions of the piece similar to the effect of leading in a stained glass window.

The copper glaze cools to a metallic finish. Because of the variables involved such as time, weather, choice of combustible material therefore each piece is one of a kind.
Due to thermal shock and lower firing temperature (approx. 1800 degrees) Raku is inherently fragile and not intended for food or drink. If you wish to use your piece as a planter or a vase, put a glass or plastic container inside.

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Len Hughes is famous for Raku fired, southwest design pottery with assorted fetish images. The lower part of the piece has a metallic glaze with subtle variations in color. Although copper is the primary color, many other colors splash across the surface. The top of the piece has a geometric design and is blocked off to display three fetish images. Len`s trademark white crackle glaze provides a beautiful background for the dark fetish images.  All pieces are signed and dated by the artist.

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3potsThe photo to the left represents a few popular sizes. The small is approx. 3 inches high and 5 inches in diameter. The x-large as seen to the left of center is approx. 7 inches high with a 12 inch diameter. The xx-tall to the right is approx. 18 inches high and 10 inches in diameter at its` widest point. The xx-large and the xx-tall are the largest pots currently in production. All sizes are approx. All pottery is wheel thrown and will vary slightly within size groups.

Len Hughes also makes a tri-design pot. Designed the same as our standard piece that shows the same image in each niche. The tri-design has three different images displayed around the upper portion of the pot. Any three of the standard images can be combined to suite the eye of the beholder. These pieces are ideal for display in the center of a room on a low table or an open divider between rooms.

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Raku fired, Desert Spirit Shaman sculptures.

Hand built, raku fired in copper sand glaze and decorated with beads, turquoise and various wire. They come with the standard suede and polymer clay head or the standard head adorned with feathers. These desert icons stand approx. 12 inches tall and have a 5 inch diameter at the base.

These wonderful sculptures are designed to give a sense of the intensity, fire and the simplicity of the native southwest.

The bottoms are coated, so not to damage whatever surface they`re place upon, and heads are removable for ease of shipping.

shaman trans“My Shaman sculptures are the link between our reality and higher self. These raku fired Shaman sculptures are generally 12- 14 inches tall and represent the elements of earthly man as he transitions to spirit. The raku fired clay body, while simple in design, contains all the complexities of our physical world. The natural colors brought about by the firing process represent the cool colors of the morning, warm glow of the evening and the brilliant reflections of the sky on clam water. The Shaman are further embellished with Turquoise, various stones and feathers. The heads, tilted toward the sky are divided into three sections representing earth, water and fire.”

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Len Hughes not only produces pottery with southwest images. For those who desire a more contemporary design the “feather” design, pictured to the right, fills the bill. The design is still a basic southwest design that has been stylized to fit almost any decore. This is available in the same sizes as the image pots.

lidded fire vessel

Here`s a lovely example of a copper sand finish on a small lidded vessel with a cholla skeleton accent on the lid. The Japanese often decorated the lids with bamboo and various reeds, so the tradition of using local accents carries through with the cholla from S. Arizona.

LH spacerBelow are three examples of Len`s fetish lidded vessels. The size of the vessel is generally 8″ diameter and 5 inches tall including the foot not the fetish. The bear and the shaman show gold and copper leaf circling the vessels center. The buffalo is shown in the full raku.

Below are 3 more examples of pottery that uses the copper sand bottom and a white crackle top. The large flame gives the effect of white smoke rising from the copper sand fire on the bottom. The upper right is a tall piece with a black lid and a turquoise enamel handle. On the lower right is another copper sand bottom, this time separated from the white crackle top with copper wire decorated with bead work.

The piece on the left is a spiral ribbon pot. The copper sand glaze encircles the crackle glaze like a ribbon wrapping up from the bottom of the piece.

The low bowl in the right features the copper sand glaze covering the majority of the pot accented with a relief cut rim done in black.
Both of these pots come in several sizes and look great in any raku collection.

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lidded trinket jar 2

Now for a little break from raku fired pottery. These are little high fired treasure jars. Everyone needs a little place to keep their little stuff safe and in one place. These little lidded jars are the perfect decorative keeper that you can place anywhere. They are glazed lidded trinket jarinside and out and have an adorable, angelic image on the fitted lid. These little jars are approx. 2 1/2 to 4 inches tall and approx. 3 inch diameter.

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Another piece to decorate your walls with are “spirit maidens”. These lovely angels of the southwest are Lens latest creation. These angels all represent the magical findings abumdant in the desert southwest. Each angel is unique and brings a personal blessing to your home. A copper wire is installed for hanging and are generally 6 x 8 inches in size.

Raku crosses are beautiful representations of the traditional cross.
Crosses are 10″ tall and 8″ across with a copper wire installed for hanging.

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Retailers: For a wholesale price list, minimum order info or general inquiries please contact us using our contact form on our contact page.
Thank you.