In my last year of highschool I made a Japanese Raku tea set in art class. It was the best art class I ever took even though other than that I hated the school. In the school I went to the year before that my art teacher was a bitch who(oddly for art) discouraged creativity and individuality. She’d give an assignment and I would generally incorporate 10% of what she said and then add my own 90% creative flair(afterall, isn’t that what art’s supposed to be about?) and she hated me for it, just like the teacher I had in grade 10. I was penalized in marks, but in grade 12 the teacher admired my artistic expression and I got a 95% final grade.
The other day I came across my Raku tea set I made way back in 1985(similar to the one pictured here).I still vividly remember how I made it,too: I used potter’s clay and crafted my pieces,glazed, and then fired them in the kiln as usual. When they were still piping hot(usually with pottery you let it cool) I plunged them into a bucket of sawdust, immediately following it with a plunge into a pail of cold water. This causes the unique rainbow metallic effect. This was one of my best pieces of art in my opinion.(I also did a bust, Henry Moore-type sculpture, chess set, 2 vases, etc. that year)When I look at it now it brings back fond memories of my youth, a year I had such promise and hope for my life. We moved once again that summer to a new city and my future was optimistic with possibility and excitement. I had graduated highschool, was 18 and an adult, and was eager to be free and looking forward to finding love and getting married and having a family in the near future.Unfortunately things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped or planned even though I did get married and have kids; it just didn’t turn out that way I’d thought,( with many losses, failures,regrets, disappointments, unfulfilled hopes, unrequitted love,etc.),and hoped, it would, but entirely different from what I had expected. Still, seeing the Raku tea set brings back fond memories of a time when my life had promise, hope and possibility.It is a symbol of happier times past and one of my fave. possessions I have made.