There was lots of excitement among the participants (there were five of us) on the day. We had lots of sunshine and prepared a delicious potluck lunch to coincide with the event while the first firing was on. When ready, the facilitator demonstrated decoration techniques. Water spritzed on the hot pot would cause more crackling in the glaze as it cooled.
Feathers and other dry materials could be carefully applied (don't touch the hot pot!) to glazed areas of the pots.
Even sugar could be randomly sprinkled on the pot. It would ignite and carmelise on contact with the pot, and leave dark brown or black flecks. Pots could either be decorated first and then put in the "smoker" or just simply put in the "smoker". The "smoker" is a bin full of shredded paper (or other flammable material) that ignites when the hot pots are put in it. The lid of the bin is put on immediately and the fire goes out, filling the bin with smoke. Unglazed areas of pots become black in the "smoker" and the crackling of glazes produces gorgeous black lines.
When pots are removed from the "smoker" they are dunked in water to cool off. It does not take long for them to cool enough to handle.
We were all delighted with the results of two raku firings at the afternoon event!