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Some people hesitate to get started with raku firing because “……. it causes a lot of smoke nuisance”. The possibility for smoke nuisance occurs during the reduction of the ware. Very often this is done in an old garbage can with a lit that does not close good enough to keep smoke in the can. Not only can this be very unpleasant for your neighbours but it is also not ideal for the result of the reduction. After all, during the reduction you want to subject the ware to the highest possible smoke density in order to get a nice black colouring on those spots where you did not apply any glaze.
In other words also for the result it is better that as little as possible smoke escapes from the reduction can. A wet towel over the lit does not improve the situation.

It is a much better method to put your reduction material on a layer of sand and then to put a can or half barrel like a high hat over the ware.

You can click on the images below for a larger image.


Here you see that reduction material (wood chips) is put over a sculpture that just has been fired to 1000 0C. Half a barrel is already held in position to be put over the sculpture as soon as enough reduction material has been applied. However at this point some smoke does appear.


Now the barrel is over the sculpture. The sand on the outside is tamped against the barrel in order the seal it completely. As a result all the smoke remains where it is supposed to be and that is under the barrel and not towards you neighbours.


Now it is a matter of having sufficient patience. You just have to wait long enough for the temperature underneath the barrel to be low enough to remove the barrel without the reduction material starting to burn or smoulder again due to the renewed oxygen supply. If you wait long enough you can remove the barrel without any new smoke development.
See also: THE RAKU PROCEDURE - Reduction

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