Shuixiu, or the "Water Sleeves" Dance, is a traditional dance from China dating back to the Han Dynasty. It continues today, particularily in Chinese opera, where the story is told through the various motions of the long, flowing silk sleeves. In honor of this stunning art form, I've created the Shuixiu series; the flowing movements of the dancers' sleeves being represented by swirling, free form bodies of white glaze against a matte black unglazed background.
This has been fired using the raku process. The ware is taken up to a temperature around 1800 degrees, where it is then removed from the kiln and placed in a container of combustibles. The red hot vessel ignites the material instantly, where it burns fiercely until suffocated by covering the container. This abrubt stoppage leads to an oxygen starved, 'reduction' atmosphere in the can. This atmosphere is what leads to the color blooms in the glazes, while any unglazed clay carbonizes into rich blacks and greys.
This vessel is 10"w X 9"h.
Because raku is a low fire process, it is not waterproof. Raku ware should never be used for food or live flowers requiring water. Some people choose to use dried or silk flowers in thier pots, but most simply enjoy them for the fine piece of art that they are!