Photographer's Note

This is a raku kiln or oven, just opened when it reached 1000º C. Raku is a form of traditional Japanese pottery (typical of the tea bowls) in which the temperatures are low and the pieces are taken out of the kiln when they're burning hot (you see they look like solid fire). In the western raku, a reduction chamber is used then; it's usually by putting the piece into a mass of combustible material (leaves, straw or similar) and reducing the atmosphere by covering it. Then, the chemical process takes place and the glaze gets its definitive colour (and a typical carbon stain).
The glazes (esmaltes) give quite unpredictable results. Because of the thermal shock, it's quite common that pieces break when they're manipulated or when they're cooled in water after some time in the reduction chamber.
The whole process is much shorter than in other types of pottery (maybe two hours for the first group of pieces, but only half an hour for the next ones, as the oven is already hot).
If you ever buy raku pieces, look for the traces of pliers: it will mean it was made by hand and not in a factory.
In the shot, taken at night, several red hot pieces. As workshops, I've posted two other photos: the same pieces before the firing, and the "workers" putting them in the reduction chamber (in this case, leaves in a metal drum).
PP: cropping and sharpening.
Thanks for your comments.

pcp, ViktorVaughn, Truja, sadeik, LamCam, Cormac, balatrek, xavis, baclama has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Ines Montenegro (abanibi) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 217 W: 48 N: 259] (749)
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