Skip to content
a peek inside the raku firing kiln

Intentional Transformations

In case you didn’t know, at Hinge, we tend to be pretty enthusiastic about transformation and carving out potential. Recently, we got the chance to engage in transformation of a different kind—transformation through earth and fire, during a team Raku pottery session!

Hand-building as team building

As part of our annual team retreat, we invited local ceramic artist and friend Syd Shera to guide us on a team building journey with “Intention Raku”. Syd led the group to write down a collective intention for Hinge Studio. We then lit the piece of paper with the intention written on it on fire, and kneaded the resulting ashes into the clay of each of our individual pieces before glazing them and sending them into the kiln fire to be transformed into stunning (and functional) works of art.

We often become so consumed by the fast pace of our busy routines that we forget to make time for pure play and deep reflection. Intention Raku offers both of these experiences, as the clay firing process is not only impressive to witness, but it also fosters group rapport and community building in a group setting.

Intention Raku, also known as Heart’s Desire Raku, is a unique form of transformational art that involves creating pottery with the ashes of our deepest desires. The idea for this practice was born out of a vision the creator Syd Shera had where Carl Jung visited her in a library and instructed her to get a raku kiln and have people write their heart’s desires on paper, burn the paper to ashes, and wedge the ashes into the clay. The finished pieces are then put through the fire of transformation in a visible raku kiln.

Transformation by fire

Raku firing takes about 40 minutes, after which the kiln is opened and the pieces are smoked in a little barrel with sawdust. Then, the pieces are cooled with water while the soot is scrubbed off. We experienced awe as the colors, crackles and metallic sheen of each finished piece was revealed. It’s truly a magical experience. According to Syd, the group Raku process seems to meet some kind of need for individual expression of creativity, held within a group setting with fire and we couldn’t agree more.

Imagining the possibilities

Intention Raku was a unique and transformative experience that not only produces beautiful pottery but also brings people together through the process of creation and transformation. We can’t help but notice the parallels between the transformative journey of Raku and the transformative journey of adaptive reuse in architecture. Imagining the possibilities, shaping existing materials into functional forms, the heat and pressure involved in bringing a project to fruition, scrubbing away the sediment—refining it to reveal the beauty underneath—It’s what we at Hinge are most passionate about and strive for every day.


Hinge knows the value of creative cross-pollination. We love to collaborate with other makers, builders, and creators and constantly engaging other creatives as we journey through projects. We find it opens our minds to new possibilities.

Syd Shera can be found online @sydsheraclayart

Curious about making your own Raku pottery? Join Syd in person at Georgetown Art Attack every second Saturday at 4pm outside Hinge Studio + Side Rail Collective




Back To Top