Well I have around 40 raku-fired peat slices, fired in the garden over the last couple of weeks. Some adjustments had to be made to increase the carbon intake as some firings came out of the reduction bins too light, however, theses have added texture and contrast to the final stack. Each peat slice was painted lightly with the peat ash and glaze medium mixture, mainly over textured and shaped areas to highlight the tool marks made on the clay from the metal, tairsgeir like tools. This added a density to the very black pieces, where the bare clay turned a blue black, with a slight sheen, like a magpie or peacock feather while the peat ash was a matt black. On the lighter pieces the peat ash turned a dark grey with the clay being lighter, in some places remaining white. I added a larger quantity of bashed peat dust (burning peat smashed up with a hammer) and the larger granules and shredded paper to the smoke bins, and tried only to use my new smoke bin rather than the borrowed one whose lid wasn’t as tight.

I enjoyed raku firing, it was a learning curve as I only had one, quick lesson, some of the pieces split, some sides came off and the slip cast peat slices didn’t survive but I felt in control of the process and happy with most of the results. Especially the smell of burnt peat from the slices.


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