RAKU: A STATE OF HAPPY ANTICIPATION

 

The technique of making Raku Pottery is both old and new. Old because of its origin, in Japan, years ago. New, because American potters have only recently revived it for its creative and aesthetic possibilities.

Raku offers the western culture new insight into oriental concepts of beauty. Whereas we have long admired balanced symmetry, unblemished surfaces and rigid control as examples of perfect craftsmanship, Raku in contrast, places emphasis upon the beauty of the asymmetric; beauty of the accidental and spontaneous; value of acceptance and appreciation of nature undominated or controlled by man.

This is not to say that Raku requires little control or training. Indeed, unless it is approached with respect and experience gained from prolonged involvement with its aesthetic and physical limitations, the making of Raku becomes little more than an amusng parlor trick.

Raku making offers us deeper understanding of those qualities in pottery which are of a more spiritual nature, of pots made by men willing and able to create objects which have meaning as well as function.

- Paul Soldner -

 

Paul Soldner was educated at Bluffton College (BA), the University of Colorado (MA), and the Los Angeles County Art Institute (MFA). His pottery has been shown in practically every major ceramics exhibition since 1956, and he has conducted workshops across the country. He taught as a Professor of Ceramics at Scripps College, California and the Claremont Graduate School.