Raku Pottery was developed in Japan in the early 1500’s as the Ceremonial Tea Ware of the Zen Buddhist Masters. The word Raku signifies enjoyment of freedom. It was preferred by the Masters because of its humility, tasteful unpretentiousness, simple naturalness, and its deliberate avoidance of luxury...all very important to the Zen philosophy. Seldom watertight, Raku is actually a very poor choice for a casserole or a flower vase; it is pottery without utility or function. It is a low-fired ware with lead based glazes, and will only hold water for a short period of time. Raku must be approached with a different criterion in mind, like a painting or a symphony. According to the Zen Masters, its elusive, subtle, yet vigorous beauty is Raku's only worth. It is valued because it is believed that the Spirit of the Maker is embodied in the form and revealed at the foot, which is traditionally left naked (unglazed). It is believed that if we are alert to ourselves, in contemplating the Raku form, we will recognize in it our own Spirit and Meaning.