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What is Raku Ware?

Raku ware, tea bowls in particular, is now thought of as a symbol of Rikyû’s tea. Ceramics are normally fired in the kiln at more than 1100 °C, but Raku ware refers to ceramics fired at a lower temperature of about 800 °C.
The roots of Raku ware are thought to have been in Sancai, a style of Chinese pottery using glaze predominantly in the three colors. Chôjirô, the potter who first made Raku ware, is thought to have come from China.
Raku ware was originally made of reddish clay found in the city of Kyoto, coated in a transparent glaze, and then fired. The result of this process was the early Raku ware, Red-Raku. Later developments in technique allowed the creation of Black-raku ware, and black tea bowls can be said to embody the aesthetics of wabi-tea (simple and rustic tea).

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