John Melkonian

John Melkonian is recognized as a master in the fine ceramic art of RAKU. First introduced to the United States in the 1960′s, the Raku process is an ancient Japanese pottery firing technique used to produce a contemporary style with a rich historic tradition. Today John’s art is desired by major collectors in the United States for his uniqueness and unsurpassed quality.

Glazed pieces of wheel-thrown or hand-built pottery are quickly removed from a red-hot kiln while the glaze is molten. The piece is immediately placed in a “reduction container” filled with a combustible material and tightly covered before the pot has a chance to re-oxidize. The resulting smoke causes the exposed clay to turn black, framing the colors of the glaze, similar to the effect of leading in a stained glass window. The copper glazes turn metallic and the white glazes crackle. Because of the variables involved: time, weather, and choice of combustible material, each piece is a one-of-a-kind work of art.

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