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Raku Pottery at Mango Tango Art Party

Nov. 27, 2005 – Mango Tango Art Gallery invites the public to a Raku Art Party on Tuesday, November 29th from 5:30 to 8:30pm. The show features the raku works of Alison Davis and Mandy Thody.
Raku refers to a firing process rather than a type of clay. Although special clay bodies are available which are optimized for the raku firing process, it is possible to use normal earthenware or stoneware bodies if care is taken. Raku firing was developed in Japan in about 1580.
What is practiced today in the United States is a western variation of raku process developed in the 1960s. Today the western raku process consists of glaze firing a pot in a kiln that can be easily opened. It is normally a gas-fired kiln; although the process can be carried out in an electric kiln in a less effective way. The pot is carefully watched through peepholes in the kiln and when the glaze has melted to the point is has a glossy facade, the kiln is opened. The pot is picked up with tongs and plunged into a container of organic material–usually shredded newspaper, leaves or sawdust– and the container is sealed for 10-20 minutes. Lots of smoke and fire and excitement surround this process.
In the sealed container the metal oxides in the glaze and the clay are fully or partly condensed and beautiful colors and patterns of color ensue. On opening the sealed container (usually a garbage can or something equivalent) the pot, which is still very hot, is removed and plunged into water and lots of steam and hissing noises result.
Davis, originally from Rhodesia, spent years in Greece operating a small restaurant which catered to passing yachtsmen. A stellar chef, Davis draws upon flowers and plants for many of her works. Thody, originally from South Africa, is an accomplished seamstress, who has delighted in making clothes for her two children, her husband, and herself. Her ceramics celebrate the human form, often including regal African figures. Davis concentrates on functional ware. Each artist also creates decorative works.
Davis is making her debut at the gallery. Thody has been working with Mango Tango for three and a half years.
Enjoy the art. Meet the artists. Listen to the interpretive blues and rock n roll of 2 Blue Shoes. Gallery co-owner Smokey Pratt adds, "Remember this is a Tuesday night party." For more information, call 777-3060, or CLICK HERE to learn more about the gallery.

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