Catherine Weir is a ceramic artist who works almost exclusively in raku. In raku, a traditional Japanese method of firing clay, the pieces are removed from the kiln while still glowing hot. They are then placed in combustible materials which ignite instantly, and the pieces are quickly covered to contain the smoke.

With Catherine’s specific process, the smoke penetrates the cracks in the glaze, leaving a shadow imprint on the pot’s surface. Her forms feature black and white design elements, and often include gold lustre. Catherine has developed her elegantly-crafted, decorative 'shadow crackle' raku pieces into a high art.

The final appearance of each piece is the result of technique, environmental conditions, and the will-of-the-wisp nature of the smoke. So each piece is unique—it can never be duplicated.

In Catherine's travels, wherever possible, she has learned local ceramic techniques. She finds inspiration for her art in the broad ceramic culture of the people and places she encounters.

Recently, two of Catherine's pieces were chosen by the City of Hamilton as a gift from the Mayor to the City of Kaga, Japan.

In 2009, Stephen Branfman, a well-known American raku artist, chose Catherine's work for his book 'Mastering Raku', the definitive work on the subject.

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