Nothing like leaving Christmas presents to the last minute…… this age old tradition left me with no option but to attempt my first raku firing in the snow….and later in the dark too. Worked out brilliantly though which is more than I can say for the results….the pots could be cooled straight from the smoky dustbin by launching them into the snow. They make a very satisfying hissing noises as they hit the white carpet. Raku is always temperamental, that is the fun of it, and you have to take the rough with smooth. One of the more pleasing pieces welded itself to the kiln shelf, which unfortunately meant its intended use as as a tree decoration was a little improbable, or at least you would need much bigger tree than the one we have this year. Dad’s present was a resounding success, or one pot was a resounding success and now it is Dad’s present. The elusive turquoise glaze was again nowhere to be found and the fantastic copper colour achieved last time only put in a scant appearance. The raku kiln fairy knew the offerings were presents and I had used up my last ‘leave it to the last minute’ life on a previous batch of wedding presents.