Many people believe that Horsehair pottery is a Native American style
There is no evidence of it. It’s simply a style or technique. Many
do horsehair pottery but so do other potters.
Like anything else everyone has his or her own style or way of doing
Artists like to experiment and occasionally there are what we call
I believe horsehair pottery may have been a“happy accident”.
However it came about; it is a beautiful style of pottery with fascinating
The following is my process of making horse hair pottery: The pots
are wheel thrown
then at the leather hard stage the pieces are trimmed and burnished
to a smooth finish.
Once the ware is bone dry a fine slip called Terra Segillata is
applied in a number of coats.
When the slip has dried enough that it can be handled without leaving
finger prints, the pots
surface is polished with a smooth cloth to a satin finish. Pots
are now placed in a kiln and
fired to 1850 degrees to harden the clay and mature the glaze inside.
to cool slightly to 1000 degrees. Once the kiln temperature has
cooled to 1000 degrees
one by one the pots are removed from the HOT kiln and strands of
horse hair, feathers,
and other combustibles are applied to the surface. There is only
about 30 seconds to
place the horse hair and feathers so they will carbonize into the
wonderful random patterned
surface of the pot. The hotter the pot is the darker the patterns.
Pots are allowed to cool completely.
Once cooled the pots are cleaned, sealed with paste wax and then
buffed to bring up
the satin finish. This is a fascinating process due to its randomness
of patterns. It can never be repeated.
Each pot is a one of a kind. Occasionally a pot just doesn’t meet
my standards, so I re-fire and try
again. Each pot is a beautiful surprise each and every time; an
amazing experiment in randomness.
Horsehair pottery will complement any decor and is especially suited
to the popular southwestern
designs and colors. Due to the low firing temperature the pots are
porous and should only be
used for dried arrangements, Cleaning a piece of horsehair pottery
can be done with a damp cloth.
DO NOT LET LIQUID STAND IN THESE POTS.
Occasionally a thin coat of wood floor paste can be
applied to bring back the satin finish.