Copper Matt Technique:
The bisque fired pots are "glazed" using a reactive copper matt slip which gives an irridescent range of colours. They are fired in a propane gas fuelled kiln to just under 1000 degrees c. Once the slip begins to fuse they are removed from the kiln with tongs, placed on a circular bed of sawdust for a few minutes and then sealed with a metal bin. This creates reduction, the copper colours begin to work their magic.
Unlike other copper matt slip potters, I like to encourage a blackened area to develop around the base of the pots. This creates a landscape horizon . The dramatic copper, gold and mettallic colours from the reduction therefore develop into the appearance of a rather surreal and "other wordly" sky. This technique works hand in hand with the slab built forms, as each facet provides a blank canvass for the colours to develop.
Copper matt slip is one of the hardest Raku techniques to master. (If not the hardest!) Much is dependant on the elements, the right blend of sawdust, correct kiln temperature, the right size reduction bin, length of reduction/re-oxidisation and even the weather! (Cold in my experience is best!) No two pots will ever be the same, and it is virtually impossible to achieve the same range of colours twice. Yet- this is all part of its' enigmatic appeal and ensures everyone who owns one of my pots has a completely unique item. The copper matt slip recipe that I use is a variation of John Wheeldon's recipe.
Raku Glaze Method:
I also use a copper and cobalt recipe which is sprayed or applied thickly to the pot. The work is then heavily reduced in a metal bin packed full of wood shavings and smoked for up to an hour to create rich cobalt blue, copper, pewter and mettallic textured surfaces.