About Rachel Quinn
Rachel comes from a fine art background where she studied painting and ceramics. Having completed her studies and fallen in love with the medium of clay she spent the next 6 years working in pottery studios. She now lives in county Sligo where she set up her studio in a rural setting inspired by the landscape mythology and ruggedness of the North West there is nowhere she would rather be
“Living in the rugged north west of Ireland it is impossible to deny ones relationship with nature, time and history. As a person you develop an acute awareness of the seasons, of being part of these changes and a sense of belonging to the land, and from these rhythms new and old come a steady steam of inspiration.”
Rachel has designed a range of hand built Ceramic pieces, which are full of character and originality. The artist designs, creates and fires the work herself, this she finds allows her designs to respond and grow appropriately with all the aspects which inform the development of her pieces.
Raku Firing is the way in which you fire your pieces. It was first used in Japan for the ancient tea ceremonies and has a huge spiritual context in Japan. It means “Happiness through chance” as the results can be random. Rachel has been working in raku for a long time so the colours she achives are fairly accurate. The pieces must first be Bisque fired to 1,000C over a 12 hour period. When the ware is cool, usually 24 hours, it is then glazed . The Glaze is made in-house and painted onto the surface of the pieces. The pieces are then stacked in a small kiln holding about five pieces at a time. It is then fired up to 1,000 C very quickly, probably in a two and a half hour perio. At this stage the pieces are taken out while red hot and cooled rapidly in sawdust, several hundred degrees in seconds . This process gives beautiful metallic lustres and crazing which is much sought after and often described as instant age. After the pieces are cool they are retrieved from the sawdust. They are completely black but when they are washed with wire wool their individual beauty is revealed. Raku is an arduous task but we think the results are worth it and hope you do too.