raku water vases

by Grace Bonney

When it comes to collecting vases for flowers, I tend to own everything except actual vases. Mason jars, coffee tins and drinking glasses make up the bulk of my collection, but I think I could definitely make room for one of these beauties from ShopSCAD. SCAD alum Irene McCollam’s Raku water vases might be too pretty to use for flowers — the vases are lovely enough on their own. Irene uses an ancient Japanese pottery technique called Raku, which means “happiness through chance,” to create her vases. The process entails heating the pot in a kiln and then quickly moving it into a metal trashcan filled with newspaper and sawdust to cool it down. The quick cooling process creates an almost watercolor-like effect with the glaze and gives the vases a worn-in, aged patina. Each of Irene’s vases is handmade and signed, and available right here for $48 each. xo, grace

*Katie Runnels sent me the link to the new ShopSCAD catalog and it’s gorgeous. If you haven’t seen the full catalog you can check it out right here online.

Suggested For You


  • Oh, these are lovely! I love when people make things that are in tune with/mimic natural processes. Such lovely, random results. They look like ancient pots that have been slowly covered in lichen!

  • Beautiful! I love it when ceramics are featured, and these are especially wonderful. But are they waterproofed somehow?

  • technical note: raku is such a low-temperature process (compared to other firing methods) that the clay remains semi-porous, thus not recommended for holding water.

  • These are beautiful. I love the earth tones and coppery glisten a few of the vases have. If anyone gets the chance to try or attend a Raku firing, it’s a ton of fun involving large heat proof gloves, tongs, and fire in a barrel. Well worth the experience!

  • Those are beautiful! I remember learning raku in high school (I went to a fine arts school) and being amazed at what the fire did to the glazes. Thanks for sharing!

  • Hi everyone! Thought I should add that raku is a “quick fired” process, the metals and chemicals in the glaze are not fully “bonded” to the clay body. This means that it is permanent and suitable for decorative use ONLY. No plants (unless in the case of cut flowers, you don’t mind that they die quickly), and absolutely NO drinking or eating out of raku fired pottery.

  • glad designsponge-rs know their stuff. :) raku is so beautful because the glazing process causes tiny cracks in the glaze, thus rendering it not water-proof. Careful!