My little hare has come to life!
'Midnight' has been fired in a process called 'naked raku', the 'naked' refers to the fact that there is no glaze used to achieve the shine on him or his colour. He has been burnished and the black colour is purely smoke, that has entered the porous surface of the clay after firing.
I originally hand-built my hare based on the character I carve into my sgraffito pieces, it was amazing to see him come to 3D life! From this original hare, I created a mould, so that I am able to slipcast more hares! Each hare is cast in 2 pieces which I then join together, after hand fettling each piece. After the hares have fully dried I paint on layers of Terra Sigillata (a very fine particled liquid clay) and polish each layer until a high shine is achieved. Each hare is then bisque fired before being prepared for the Raku kiln. After the hares have been raku fired I place them into a bucket of combustible materials, they set fire immediately from the heat of the hares, I place a lid on and the smoke enters the porous surface of the clay creating different effects. After the reduction, I remove the hares, clean them and seal and polish them with a protective wax polish.
Midnight measures 225mm long x 180mm tall x 110mm wide
Raku fired ceramics have been through a tremendous journey to reach this point, all the elements combine to create their random and beautiful surface patterns. Because these hares have no glaze on their surface they should be kept out of direct sunlight, to avoid fading, and be polished with a soft cloth and wax, a couple of times a year, to maintain their shine. Any 'imperfections' should be considered part of their charm!