Excerpt from Nothing to Hide:


If American Raku is so different, how did we come to call it Raku? It was an unintentional mistake – a mistake to which I must confess my part, even though it actually happened without my awareness. Some of the confusion arose because at the time, in 1960, we did not know much about Japanese Raku. I had heard of it from reading The Book of Tea, and the Japanese community near the Los Angeles County Art Institute provided a source of pottery for our examination and learning. Bernard Leach’s description of his first encounter with Raku was perhaps the most appealing and most influential. In A Potter’s Book, he made reference to attending a garden party in Tokyo: “About 20 or 30 painters, actors, writers, etc. were gathered on the floor of a large teahouse. They were given unglazed pots, some oxides, and brushes, and invited to write or paint upon them. Later the pots were glazed and quickly fired (within a hour), then delivered back to the guests to enjoy.” This exciting story of his first Raku encounter, plus another page concerning Raku philosophy, were all the information I needed to try it. Making Raku would be fun, quick, and exciting, and so I tried my hand at it. (p.58)