This is my pot after I glazed it, but before it got fired.
This is the kiln. The pottery gets heated to 1800⁰ F.
After about an hour, the pottery is removed from the kiln while it's still red-hot.
The ceramic pieces get put inside garbage cans full of wood shavings. The lids are clamped on, and the heat of the ceramic sets the shavings on fire, generating a ton of smoke, The smoke finishes the chemical reactions in the glaze, giving the pieces their signature blend of colors, crackle, and iridescence.
My finished pot. These are not food safe, but can be used to hold water.
I've added my bowl/cup/pot(?) to my altar, and to be honest, I'm super happy with how it looks. I hadn't been sure when I moved into my dorm if I'd be able to have anything really like a permanent altar since I didn't know what my roommate's attitude would be, but I think she's just accepted that I like shiny things and hasn't even questioned why half of my dresser is covered in crystals and has a chalice and a picture of pretty fairies.
It's so cute! Not sure yet how much seasonal decoration I'll be doing. I had to leave most of my usual things at home, so it'll require some ingenuity, certainly, but at least for Samhain, I'm sure there's plenty of places to get gourds or pumpkins around here.
My other vase I set on top of my microwave with my mask, because I'm a designer in training. Even microwaves need to look attractive, and if they have something vaguely theatrical or occult about them, well, so much the better.
If you've never done raku and you get the chance, I really recommend it. It's an ancient Japanese art form that combines all the elements in a manner which is really primal in its nature. The earthy clay, airy smoke, blazing fire, and water to cleanse the finished product are all united by human creative spirit. It's truly a serene art form, and the results are as unpredictable as the elements which go into its creation.