© Five Crows, Natick Center / September 2012

Elaine S. Yoneoka has been a ceramic and mixed media artist for over thirty years since graduating from Oberlin College. She is from New York City and is of Japanese heritage. She has exhibited her work in galleries and museums across the US and abroad. Her studio is in Jamaica Plain, MA.

I create my ceramic pieces by using a special firing method called raku. Raku was originally developed by a Korean potter 300 years ago to make ware for the Japanese tea ceremony. Each piece is heated very quickly to 1800 degrees F, pulled out of the kiln and is put into a container filled with combustible materials. These immediately burst into flames when the hot ceramic piece touches it. The container is covered and left to smoke and cool. The fire and smoke react with metals in the glaze to give a unique combination of various colors and flashings on each piece.