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Technique

Amber' early 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.  Amber loved the look so much that she used it on her sculptures even though it was difficult.   In many ways she compromised on the construction of her sculptures in order to have them be able to endure the rigors of the raku/reduction process.  

 

Another problem she ran into with raku was that the work is not vitrified and therefore very delicate. Shipping from Hawaii to mainland galleries would often incur breaking, even with the most careful and attentive packing.  These problems inspired her to develop a new technique that would replicate the look of Naked Raku, a look that she was getting known for.

After a year of trial and error she developed what she called "Naked Fauxku".  This name was inspired because the clay is naked (without glaze) yet it emulates a raku technique.   It is accomplished in an electric kiln and can be fired to any temperature.  Naked Fauxku has the advantage of being able to be used on sculpture or pottery, as well as becoming fully vitrified which makes it much  stronger for shipping.

Her new technique was published in "Pottery Making Illustrated" magazine, and also in the book "Naked Raku and Related Bare Clay Techniques".  In this book the process is described in great detail so that it can be used by any ceramic artist.