Raku is a Japanese method of firing ceramics, an outgrowth of Zen Buddhist meditation practice. In accordance with the Japanese aesthetics and nature, Raku embraces asymmetry, irregularity and unpredictability. The ceramist is given the freedom to let go and see what happens in the alchemy of Raku. Angela fell in love with this aspect of giving up control. After learning the technique from several Raku masters, she tried to strike a balance between her native culture and this eastern one and found that the dominating element became shape and no longer color, which had been at the forefront of her work.
During Raku firing, which lasts approximately an hour, you meditate to obtain the necessary concentration to be able to extract the incandescent pieces with prongs and bury the pieces in sawdust that burst into flames. In the fire and smoke, you search for the right moment to immerse the pieces in water to create the wondrous metallic effects and crackling because of the drastic thermal shock.
The most magical moment happens when after cooling, it is time to rub the pieces down with steel wool to discover the surprising metamorphosis that has occurred in such a brief period of time.
Every Raku piece contains elemental power. In its journey to realization, earth comes out of the kiln into the air to be plunged into sawdust and catch fire. But then it is through water that it obtains its light and starts to live.