There is a beautiful simplicity in the the black and white of this raku sculpture.The alternation between glazed and unglazed areas, shiny and matte, smooth and a bit rough highlight the spiral pattern. Does the pattern remind you of a ram's horn? That is what I see!!
The roots of Raku go back to 16th century Japan. Raku is fired very quickly--from room temperature to 1850 and back to room temperature in about an hour. When the kiln has reached the correct temperature, it is opened, the pieces are removed using long tongs, placed in a pit lined with sawdust, and quickly covered with a metal pot or container that is lined with straw. The combustibles use up the oxygen in the container, producing beautiful metallic colors. The unglazed areas of the pot absorb carbon from the burning organic matter and become black. If the metal container is lifted at the correct moment during cooling, oxygen is added to the environment, the glaze cools at a different rate than the clay, causing a beautiful crackle pattern. The crackle pattern shows up beautifully as those minor cracks in the glaze absorb the carbon and turn black.
This is approximately 14.5" long, 7.5" at the highest point, and 3.5" at the widest point.