A lot of magic happens at the Desert Dragon/All The Hands Studio, especially on Saturdays when there's a raku firing.
When there's a raku firing, you get to see cool things like pottery and sculptures in flame! (LOL)
Raku firing is a technique originated in Japan. If I understand it correctly, the process goes like this: Once the temperature inside the kiln has reached a certain point, we pull the ceramic wares out of the kiln and set it on a bed of flammable material (like paper, saw dust...etc) and the heat from the ceramic wares will trigger the fire.
Next, we cover the ceramic wares (while still in flame) to deprive it of oxygen.
The fire will burn off all the oxygen inside the cover. The lack of oxygen will cause a chemical reaction in the glazes. After a while, we remove the covers and there you have it. Raku wares, emerging from bed of ashes like the Phoenix.
Here are some more pictures of raku firing, taken at the Desert Dragon/All The Hands Studio:
Raku is a wonderful and magical experience.