Raku technique and process has held my attention for over 30 years and throughout this time the primary attraction for me has remained the never ending variations of applied technique, the spontaneity of the firing process, and the always present degree of surprise and serendipity in the results. Raku is a practice that offers the best of all worlds for me. The method is deeply rooted in tradition and I approach it with the utmost respect for the technique and it's origins. And while it's origins serve as a constant reminder to me of where the craft has evolved from, it's contemporary incarnation is very different.  So, I can work simultaneously in a traditional method where all the rules have been established, and a contemporary technique where the rules are constantly in question. Raku firing is fast by its design and spontaneous by my nature.  When the piece is ready to be taken from the kiln there is alot of chaotic appearing activity for a very short time. It does, however, require exacting cooperation between myself, my equipment, my assistants, and the fire. Though there is always a small degree of surprise, the success of the work depends on my ability to command and predict the variables of material and fire. It is like a dance that when choreographed well flows into a statement of beauty. It feels good when done right! 

I enjoy the challenge of working large, not just to achieve size but to arrive at the correct scale for a particular piece. My largest pieces are done using a variation on the Korean coil and throw technique. Thick coils are attached to the rim of a leather hard form. The throwing continues and the coils are pulled up to continue the form. There is almost no size limitation and to avoid getting swept away by technique I must always be in touch with my intended form and design. The actual Raku firing of large work presents its own challenges and it is the search for answers to all of these questions that often result in new creative directions and discoveries for me.

My kiln of choice is top loading and LPG fueled. My firing area consists of 6 kilns, all recycled and rebuilt defunct electric kilns. I do not do multiple firings where preheating of the ware is necessary. I fire from a cold kiln with a slow firing cyle (3-5 hours). The cooling phase is also slow and controlled and this has all but eliminated breakage. Kiln atmospheres vary and include oxidation, reduction, salt, and soda.