Joyce Lee on thu 11 jan 01
I just watched the last part of the Peeler tapes, which feature the raku
of the Raku Family. It's pretty apparent that theirs was/is not the same
as American raku since they daily made hundreds/thousands of
teasets/teabowls/cake plates... all obviously designed to be functional.
My questions: was/is it safe to serve such food and drink from their
raku? If so, how is it different? ..... the glaze? the clay? The process
looked very similar.
I'm sure I must have this information somewhere in my growing collection
of books and videotapes thanks to advice from Clayarters, but I haven't
been able to dredge it up.
In the Mojave who can't even ride a motorcycle, much less maintain
one... a little Zen might not be a bad idea, though. Or is there such a
creature as a "little" Zen?
vince pitelka on thu 11 jan 01
> I just watched the last part of the Peeler tapes, which feature the raku
> of the Raku Family. It's pretty apparent that theirs was/is not the same
> as American raku since they daily made hundreds/thousands of
> teasets/teabowls/cake plates... all obviously designed to be functional.
> My questions: was/is it safe to serve such food and drink from their
> raku? If so, how is it different? ..... the glaze? the clay? The process
> looked very similar.
The only thing that makes some American raku unsuitable for functional use
is that we sometimes slather our wares with unstable high-copper glazes
which will release plenty of copper into the food. The crazed glazes of
course make the wares weaker, but other than that the crazing in itself is
not a health problem. Any potter selling raku wares must caution the buying
public that the wares are very fragile. Also, I would never store foods in
a crazed raku vessel, because liquid foods could slowly seep into the
claybody. Otherwise, raku vessels are perfectly OK for functional use.
Best wishes -
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Appalachian Center for Crafts
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Cindy Strnad on thu 11 jan 01
I don't think we would consider most of the old Japanese Raku to be safe to
serve food from, as I understand that a lot of lead was used in many, if not
most, of the glazes. I know it was considered functional at the time,
though. And, of course, one could probably drink tea from it daily without
obtaining a seriously damaging dose of lead. But still . . . .
Earthen Vessels Pottery
RR 1, Box 51
Custer, SD 57730
Paul Gerhold on fri 12 jan 01
Some Raku is fragile and some is not. Depends a lot on the clay body, the
firing etc. Saying all raku is fragile is no more true then saying that all
white clay bodies are porcelain, or all raku glazes disappear, or all
stoneware is strong. Etc., etc.