Raku is a method of fast-firing pottery that originated as a firing method in Japan hundreds of years ago. The firing technique used by Shady Grove Pottery is a Western adaptation of the ancient Japanese methods. Each piece is fired in a kiln until the piece reaches about 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, then placed in a container with a combustible materials such as dried vegetation, paper or sawdust. The combustible material ignites and the fire and smoke react with the glaze to create unique and unpredictable colors, lusters and patterns. Due to the unpredictability of the final result, each piece of Raku is considered a one of a kind work of art.
Because of the porous properties of raku pottery, it should be noted that these pieces are for decoration purposes only. A vase may be used for fresh flowers if a plastic or glass insert is placed inside to hold the water and bouquet flowers.