Tuesday, February 8, 2011


One of my favorite things to do is make horsehair pottery.  This is easy for me because I have several horses that are willing (or some that aren't always willing) to part with a little mane or tail.  Also several people out in the horse community have saved horsehair from their own horses and have me make a pot special for them using their horsehair.

First I decide on the style of the pot - all of my pottery is wheel thrown.  Then I throw the pot and dry it.  Next the pot is bisque fired to a cone 04.  After bisque firing it is ready to go in the RAKU kiln.  When the pot has reached the desired temperature (about 1800 degrees) I pull out each pot and lay the horsehair on--sometimes random and sometimes in a more creative pattern.  After the pot cools I wash it and wax it to protect the pot.

Pottery fired this way can be used to hold dry items or for decoration.  It will not hold water.  You can place a plastic liner in your pot and then use as a vase or flower pot. 

I am doing a Crane Festival and will be doing several vases and pots using bird feathers instead of horsehair.  The pot is usually about 1600 degrees for feather but varies with the texture of the feather I use.  Most of my feathers are collected from my chickens as they naturally are shed.