Raku is an old Japanese way to fire ceramics, it is manyfold used as a part of the traditional japanese tea-ceremony. Itr is a rather quick way of firing and when it is white hot it is placed directly in a bin filled with organic stuff(sawdust) This causes a strong reduction effect and spectacular patterns of surface glaze cracks. The technique was made popular by the Americans Paul Soldner and Peter Voulkos in the 70-ties of the 20th century. Through many workshops and symposia it decame very quickly a popular way of making ceramics in the entire western world also because of the quick results. Characteristic for Raku are the crackles that appear during the thermal shock that occurs when the white hot piece is taken out of the kiln and is placed in the bin with sawdust. Because the swadust sets on fire and the bin is covered directly an oxigen poor strong smoking reduction fire occurs which fills the crackle with soot. In the finished product this becomes clear as a fine network drawing of thin black lines that sometimes covers the whole piece.
In her modest studio in the garden of her house, an old school in Charenton sur Cher south of Bourges, Catheridented. Whether it are small predators like stoats, ferrets or fox; birds from heron to wren, reptiles and aphibians, fish and lobsters or flowering irisses, Catherine portraits them with love and unmeasurable patience by modeling them out of different sorts of grogged clay and glaze methods to create a life true image.
Catherine Chaillou was educated at the academies of fine art in St.Etienne and in Bourges. At first she concentrated on calligraphy and illustration. With this work she won a first prize in 1990 in Bracieux. In that same year she come in contact with clay which made her career change; she takes lessons from Pascal Perrinet in Bourges to master the raku-technique. Meanwhile her husband Franck fathoms the secrets of firing the raku- kiln. In 1994 her works is first exhibited in the Bourges Museum. Since then she knows herself assured from a podium on countles international naturalistic fairs. Catherine Chaillou had her first exhibition in our gallery in 2012.