I love clay. It is a most miraculous medium and I have been fascinated with it since kindergarten when we made hand print ashtrays. But I am not media monogamous. In fact I am promiscuous with my use of different media. I will use whatever works the best for the effect I am trying to achieve.
My earlier work was low fired with a technique called Naked raku. This is a lovely process on pots and sculptural forms that have smooth curves and somewhat flat surfaces. It is far less conducive to detailed figures with their extreme angles and sharp surfaces, so it is primarily used on pottery. I loved the look so much that I used it anyway, even though it was difficult to do a raku firing on detailed and delicate sculptures. In many ways I compromised on the construction of my sculptures in order to have them be able to endure the rigors of the raku/reduction process. Another problem with raku is that the work is not vitrified and therefore very delicate. Shipping it was so problematic that even with the most attentive packing I would have breakage. This inspired me to figure out a new technique that would replicate the look of Naked Raku to some degree.
The technique that I developed is called "Naked Fauxku" because it is naked (sans glaze) yet it is a faux process that attempts to emulate the look without actually doing raku. This technique is done in an electric kiln and is high fired. It doesn't look exactly like the traditional naked raku, but it is very similar and conveys the look that I was seeking. The joys of Naked Fauxku are that it can be used for sculpture or pottery, can be food-safe and since the clay is vitrified, and it is much stronger for shipping.
This new technique has been published in an article in "Pottery Making Illustrated" magazine, and directions for how to do it are also in the book "Naked Raku and Related Bare Clay Techniques".