Professor Michael Rice of the American University of Dubai demonstrates the firing techniques and processes of the Raku kiln.

Raku firing is an astonishing Japanese ceramics technique invented in the 16th century for a tea ceremony in Kyoto. Used by Zen Buddhist masters, Raku means ‘pleasure’ or ‘enjoyment’. Pots are taken from the kiln when they are still red-hot, then placed in a combustible material like sawdust or newspaper to starve them of oxygen, creating a glaze with a wonderful variety of colors.

About Michael Rice

Ceramicist Michael Rice makes sculptures, surfaces and textures that are difficult to date to a specific culture or place. His aim is to create completed objects with aesthetics that are visually striking but also have a familiarity of form. His post-firing techniques make the most out of the least materials, and his finishes are straightforward yet complex, creating a dialectic that transcends simple visual meaning, moving into iconic or ceremonial territory. Complementing the shape of each piece, these techniques create a synthesis that results in an archetypal presence.