Raku is a hand-molded Japanese ceramic style which originated in 16th century Kyoto. The outstanding tableware is used in traditional tea ceremonies. However, the beautiful range of glazes this low-firing and take-it-out-while-it's-hot technique produces has made it popular worldwide.

So when Duane Collins introduced himself on my blog's chatbox as a full-time specialist Raku bead designer, I was intrigued. Duane's Etsy shop is called  Elements Pottery.

His way of producing raku beads and pendants involves removing the red hot pieces when his kiln reaches 1850 degrees. He places them in a barrel of paper, straw or sawdust which ignites. The barrel is closed to smoke the pieces for a while. The resulting gorgeous patinas are " truly painted by fire and smoke." The copper hues dance with green-blue highlights as you turn the beads around.

This Michigan based master potter makes all kinds of pieces but he began making beads and pendants only about a year or so ago for his jewelry designer wife. I think he is onto a good thing!

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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