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Raku Pottery Collaboration

By Elizabeth Leslie

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I have collaborated with Zaira and Francesco, potters in Venice, Italy to create a small range of raku pottery. These individually hand formed and fired pieces have been used in collection I as bag closures.

Raku pottery was developed in Japan in the early 1500s.

Zen monks believed that, while contemplating the Raku form, we can (by the use of attention), recognise in it our own spirit and meaning.

“We have built our kilns in our garden, near the bamboo thicket, and when the sun goes down we wait for the evening to arrive. That is the perfect moment to remove our bright red heat works from the kiln and to see the thick cloud of smoke covering the garden like a mantle of fog. In the silence of the night, our expectations are always fullfilled by all those small setbacks that make each piece unique. Raku means finding great pleasure in those moments because they contain the core of this ritual. I strongly feel that beauty often lies in the freedom of being able to surprise myself with the unexpected.”

You can discover more about their work, the ancient processes involved and the influences of Japanese aesthetics through the collaborations page.

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