A Brief history
The origin of Raku
It is said that the origin of Raku ware lay in the making of a single bowl for the tea ceremony.
To understand Raku, it is necessary to go back in time and place. Back to Japan, the region of Kyoto in the Momoyama period (1573-1615).
Raku ware was started by potter Chôjirô around 1580. During this time, colourful pottery based on the Chinese three-colour Sancai glazing came into production. Chôjirô was one of the potters practicing such techniques. Raku ware, being produced by the same type of firing and glazing as the Chinese Sancai ware, evolved into a particular glazing method. This glazing method is characterized by the use of monochrome black and red glazes. Key to the technique is that the most-often hand shaped tea bowls were removed from the hot kiln and allowed to cool in the open air.
When Sen Rikyû – tea master inside the Jarakudai Palace, built by Toyotomo Hideyoshi, the leading warrior statesman of that time – saw Chôjirô’s sculptures in Kyoto, he commissioned him to make tea bowls for his wabi-styled tea ceremony.
Hideyoshi was so pleased with the bowls he used the term Raku, which is usually translated as “enjoyment” or “ease”. It is believed that Hideyoshi presented Chôjirô’s son Jokei with a seal bearing the Chinese character for Raku. Raku then became the name of the family that produces these wares.
Since then, both the Raku technique and tradition have been passed down through the family, without any modifications, to the present 15th generation.
The American potter Paul Soldner introduced the use of a reduction chamber at the end of the firing process in the 1960’s.
Characteristic of the firing process is that pieces are removed from the hot kiln. By using a reduction chamber, pieces removed from the hot kiln are placed in a container filled with masses of combustible material. By closing the container a reduction atmosphere is created. After the combustible material catches fire, the oxygen level decreases, which results in extraordinary glaze effects. Crackled and reduction-oxidation glazes are typical of the so-called American Raku technique.
Livin’ Beauty Ceramics are made with love and respect for people and the planet. Therefore all materials used are as close to nature as possible. We are keenly aware of the need to care for Mother Nature and we are constantly working on minimizing our ecological footprint.
All elements, earth, water, fire, and air are present and used when making our ceramics. We literally feel the earth in our hands every day. We are in a constant dialogue with our suppliers to remain as close to nature as possible.
We would draw your attention to the fact that the handmade, artisan nature of the product results in uniquely individual colour, form and pattern variations. Images are provided to give the best indication of the character piece, but each item is unique.
Due to the applied technique the vases are not waterproof. Therefore is suggested to always make use of an inside plant container or foil.
We will be happy to assist you and provide all information required.
– Custom made
Formless clay is being given form. A creative process with endless possibilities. Are we going to create beyond the boundaries? Explore areas where no one has been before?
Livin’ Beauty Ceramics offers the opportunity to customize products. We can make your design, adapt our designs to fit your wishes or create something new together. The possibilities are as broad as your imagination.
Please do not hesitate to contact us so that we may explore the opportunities together.
Livin’ Beauty Ceramics are made by applying the artisan firing technique generally known as Raku. Below some images of the unique techniques that are applied to make your ceramics.
Molds are used to give shape to formless clay.
Every item is hand made.
During the rapid cooling the glaze is literally breaking, causing a crackled effect.
For centuries tea practitioners, artisans and professional and amateur potters have used and evolved the Raku firing process. All adapted the basic features and used it to their own purposes and ideas.
LB Ceramics adapted the same basic features. In constant search of new designs and glaze techniques it is our challenge to keep evolving this unprecedented methodology and technique.
Characteristic of LB Ceramics is the timeless interpretation of design and the application of unique glaze techniques. This includes working with precious metals, such as copper and silver, and sophisticated crackle techniques.
Livin’ Beauty Ceramics strives to positively contribute to a pleasant and inspiring living environment. Please have a look at our catalogue and feel welcome in the world of LB Ceramics.
Livin' Beauty Ceramics | Nijverheidsweg 28, 4906 CL Oosterhout, the Netherlands | tel. +31 (0) 76 593 53 53
Visit us at Maison et Objet 4-8 September 2020, Hall 6 Stand no. B161