Vials by fire
Their pots are hot—about 1,500 degrees—when they’re snatched out of the kiln. That’s when husband-and-wife team Gary and Donna Claggett add their own twist to the traditional Japanese firing process of raku. Instead of plunging the hot pots into a combustible environment of paper or sawdust, they embellish some vessels with horsehair. It burns on the pots, etching black lightning strikes that contrast on lighter-hued backgrounds. In more typical raku, the Claggetts paint pieces with fine liquid clay, polishing the surfaces before the fire bath of the kiln. The resulting metallic blaze—amazing copper reds splashed with intense azure and teal blues and lined with royal purple—renders shield-shaped pieces that would shine with perfect brilliance in a sci-fi flick. These and other pots of a different color are featured in Primitive Elegance at the Artists’ Collaborative Gallery, located at 1007 Second Street in Old Sacramento, through January 15. Call (916) 444-3764 for info.