Raku style urns are made in the firing process that has its origins in later Japan, attributed to Chojiro, an imperial maker of tea bowls used in the traditional tea ceremony. Typically found to accentuate characteristics often revered in Wabi Zen Philosophy, the spontaneous, subtle and often organic results were viewed and appreciated as the significant markings of nature.
Through the years the tradition has migrated to the West by way of Bernard Leach in the late 1920's and re-discovered again in the late 1960's by Paul Soldner. Soldner re-invented the process, adding to it a post-fired reduction, a somewhat violent event that captures the serendipitous and chaotic results of the original method, while allowing for the dynamic interaction of carbon, oxygen and lack thereof to play upon the elements of the glaze.
The essence captured is from a dramatic environmental shift at the height of firing of about 2000 degrees Fahrenheit and frozen in place by a relatively rapid cooling period. This contemporary Raku is usually much more dramatic in its appearance than the Eastern counterpart, often giving rise to bright swirling colors and metallic flashes that are remnant markings of flames having danced across the surface.