The Naked technique is a different type of Raku where it is possible to obtain an amazing pattern. There are two forms of naked raku: the two-step technique (resist slip and glaze) and the one-step technique (resist slip only). Note the resist slip is different in both techniques. The clay for this type of the naked raku is really thin and porous to allow smoke to penetrate inside it. When pieces are dry, it is required to spread a slip called Terra Sigillata, onto the surface. This process needs to be repeated several times to obtain a shiny surface. Between each layer it is good to polish the surface with a t-shirt or a soft fabric.
NAKED RAKU TECHNIQUE
As soon as Terra Sigillata has been applied on to the creation, the surface must not be contaminated with fingerprints. You can for example, use cotton gloves. The bisque is fired at a higher temperature than the common Raku. Afterwards we can apply a special slip to allow the glaze to come off at the end. The special slip must not dissolve during the second firing. If at all possible, it is suggested to utilise a simple white glaze to obtain the Naked effect. The surface must be smooth to remove the slip easily between the surface of the clay and the glaze. Also a smooth surface allows the distinction between white (clay) and black (smoke) highlighting the pieces.
The pieces are extracted at 800-900°C. When the pieces are extracted they must be placed into the sawdust inside a metal bin and sealed with a lid, for the time required for the correct smoking level. The time inside the bin depends on the size of the pieces and the effect you want on your pieces. In conclusion, mostly the white clay and the polishing procedure obtain the high contrast between black and white. If you don’t like the result you need to re-fire at around 700° C to remove the smoke marks and start all over again. However the areas, which have previously been black, will absorb less smoke and fumes.