Raku is an ancient Japanese method of firing pots. When pots reach the curing temperature of the glaze (about 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit), the kiln is opened and the red-hot pots are removed from the kiln with tongs. Each pot is then buried in newspaper, sawdust, or other organic material. After a few minutes the pot is taken out and submerged in cold water to cool. If a crackle or crazing pattern is desired, the pot is slowly exposed to the air and then re-buried. Next the pot is cooled by submerging in cold water. This is a very delicate process. If the pot is cooled too quickly, it can crack. After the pot is cooled, all the carbon on the pot from the burning process must be scrubbed off and the pot cleaned.