The ancient art of Raku pottery has been used in Japan for centuries. These lovely pottery pieces were used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. Invented by a 16th century tile maker named Chojiro, these hand moulded tea bowls were fired and glazed forming the rustic yet elegant look that has been passed down for 15 generations. The style of pottery was popularized in the 1950s in North America when American artist Paul Soldner adapted the process creating beautifully and uniquely coloured items that were collected and used in homes as art pieces.
The process of Raku forms clay pieces that are bisque fired, then glazed and fired at 1200 degrees. When they are removed from the kiln they are placed in a container of combustible materials and the intense heat of the clay ignites the contents of the container. This draws oxygen from the glaze and it is this process that creates the stunning colours with their unusual metallic lustre.
In essence it is the reaction of the combustible materials that act as the artist, rendering magical markings and designs that are not so much inspired as they are ignited. However, it is the imaginative foresight of the potter who holds the knowledge of colour and how their formation is enhanced by the temperature and timing.
Native Artisan Audrey Tobobondung has unified the art of Raku with her markedly Native designs creating pieces completely her own. Inspired by the breathtaking beauty of Ontario’s north, Audrey captures the surrounding landscape and wildlife that is distinctly Canadian. Audrey is from the Wasauksing First Nation and has lived in the Parry Sound area for most of her life. After two years of extensive training with Raku/earth and fire artisans, she is now journeying down the path of an artisan, combining the art of two distinct cultures.
Audrey can often be found at Chris Cardy Imaging Fine Art Gallery creating her pottery. Audrey is an associate at Chris Cardy Imaging, a fine art gallery with a focus on local artists and provocative images of the Parry Sound area. You can find Chris and Audrey at 5 Miller St. in Parry Sound. Give Audrey a call at 705-774-0185.