One intent of the Raku work of Joyce Furney is to capture the flow of the universe. For her, balance and harmony are the essence of that flow and a place where tension and repose find oneness. Within her work, Furney strives to harmonize the divergent elements of self and materials to converge at that mystical point where all is at rest, yet all is in motion.
When she picks up each completed form, it informs her whether she was at peace with herself and the materials during its creation. To the degree that she has allowed the universe to flow through her to the finished object, Furney’s work rests in balance and moves in harmony. Not every piece captures this flow, but many do and they are a great joy to her.
Furney creates to experience that joy and her goal is to share it with others. Please enjoy her art in the spirit of love in which it was created.
With a variety of awards from 1984 at Elizabeth Folk Fest, 1988 at Canterburt Fest, to 1993 where she was invited to the White House to create an ornament for the President’s Christmas tree, Furney gained her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1975 from Kansas State University for Sculpture.
The art of Raku is a firing method that involves forms of either slip cast, wheel-thrown or hand built, using a white Raku clay body formulated to withstand great thermal shock. Metallic stains and colors clays (engobes) are often brushed on the greenware forms for decoration. When trimmed and dried, the vessels are bisque fired, then glazed with either crackle white glaze or a variety of metallic luster glazes.
The art of Raku is attributed to Zen Buddhist Monks of 16th Century Japan and was favored for the tea bowls of the great tea masters. In that culture and time, Raku was much more than a method of making and firing pottery, it was a philosophy. The Japanese symbol for Raku can be translated as “enjoyment of freedom.” However, as is often the case with other cultures’ philosophies, we in the West have distilled Raku to a technical process. Raku is now generally accepted to mean a method of rapid firing and cooling of ceramic ware, and names the finished product.