August 6, 2022
Punk Raku is the bastard child of the Dalai Lama and Patti Smith
Raku developed in the 16th century in Japan in connection with the Zen Buddhist religion and the so-called “Wabi-Cha” tea ceremony.
Previously the tea ceremony used extremely refined ceramics imported from China. Under the influence of tea masters such as Sen no Rikyiu (1522 – 1591), the Wabi-Cha promotes an ideal of simplicity and humility which is found in the utensils used in the tea ceremony and in particular the bowls made by hand, without lathe by local artisans. It is to one of them, the potter Raku Chojiro, that Rikyu will entrust the manufacture of his bowls. Nowadays Kichizaemon, born in 1949, continues the tradition of the Raku dynasty. By extension, the term Raku has designated the clay bowls and utensils used for the Wabi-cha ceremony. Later Westerners appropriated the term Raku by associating it with a technical aspect, namely rapid cooking with hot loading and unloading. The “Raku Punk” was born from the desire to experiment, to get rid of the brakes on creation that can be the aesthetic concern, the sale, the transport, the durability of the objects. The processes are transgressive: pieces dipped hot in enamel or slip, games with molten enamel, ladles of enamel thrown into the oven. So much so that, as a joke, Jean-François and his ceramist friends talk about rock ‘n roll pottery and then Raku Punk. The appellation, of uncontrolled origin, has since flourished. Raku Punk: An oxymoron as Zen Buddhism and Punk seem far apart. It is a mixture of radical, even brutal processes and precise, sometimes delicate gestures that require constant attention. The resulting pieces are rough, with long enamel ridges, raw and fragile.