Elaine Yoneoka

Raku Pottery, Shibori Dyed Scarves

The art of my ceramic work is to take the materials of clay and glaze and transform them into light, texture and color. There is always movement in my work, reflecting the mystery of life, ever changing and evolving. Yet my goal is contemplation, a sense of peace, and a still point for the viewer.

This work is raku fired―a special quick-firing process that was first developed in Japan 400 years ago and modified to its present form in the 1970s. It entails heating the ware very fast until the glaze is molten, then individually smoking each piece after it is taken out of the kiln and left to cool to room temperature within 10 minutes. Pieces are finally quenched with water to “set” the glaze and cool the piece. This gives my work an air of spontaneity that comes from its interaction with the elements of fire and smoke and renders each piece unlike any others with both subtle and dramatic color changes. Unlike most raku work, the clay is waterproof, so the vases can hold water.

The artist has adapted a technique that has traditionally been used for pots to produce many other objects, both useful and beautiful. She has been expanding her simple but elegant jewelry line and uses wire wrapping to embellish pieces.

The shibori dyed silk scarves are wrapped and tied, or compressed in other ways such as folding, pleating, or sewing, before being dyed. The results, like those of raku firing, are a delightful surprise. Her Web site is yoneokastudios.com
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