Raku is a firing technique for pottery that originated in Japan in the 15th century. The word “Raku” is commonly translated from Japanese to mean “pleasure” or “happiness”. During this intricate process, the pottery is fired in a kiln until it reaches approximately 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. The extremely hot pottery is then removed from the kiln and placed in a reduction chamber filled with combustible materials. As the heat from the pottery creates a fire, the lid is placed on the chamber, creating a vacuum which forces carbon into the glazes. Some glazes become crackled, creating dark lines where the raw pottery is exposed, some glazes become metallic and shiny. As the pieces cool, the artist can use different techniques to create various desired results. Leroux was born in Henrietta, NY and attended University of Montana, majoring in Fine Art. He and his wife Leslie are raising their two sons in Whitefish, finding the balance between their love for the outdoors and time in the studio. For the Leroux’s, Raku is more than a technique of firing pottery; it has become part of their philosophy of life. Spontaneity and acceptance of unexpected events form the core of this philosophy.