Thursday, July 24, 2008
You did what with horse hair?
My friend and Mobile Meals partner, Nancy, gave me a very unique gift from her trip out west: Horsehair pottery. I had never seen it before, but I think it is a really interesting piece!
Here's a description I copied from a couple of websites:
Horsehair pottery is made from a white clay that has been bisque fired to a lower than usual temperature. This leaves the fired clay body quite porous, enabling it to absorb the carbon from burning horse hair. Later, the bisque is warmed up in the kiln to about 1300 degrees Fahrenheit. When it is removed, individual strands of horsehair, preferably from the tail, are laid against the hot surface. If the temperature on the surface of the piece is just right, the hair will attach to the pot, shrivel up, and begin to burn. As the ash forms, a small deposit of carbon and smoke is absorbed into the clay surface, leaving a permanent trace of the horsehair. As the temperature falls below 900 degrees Fahrenheit, the pot will no longer accept the hair, and the process is over. When the ashes are washed away and the piece is completely dry, it is usually polished with a paste wax or sprayed with an aerosol furniture polish to give it a soft satin finish and lasting luster.
Because horsehair pottery must be porous in order to achieve the effect, it is not to be used as a water vessel for fresh flowers. Its use is solely as a piece of art to enhance the décor of your favorite room or to make a statement about your appreciation of your horse. It makes a nice conversation started if you take it to work. If you like I can carve the name of your horse on the bottom of the vessel. If you don't have a horse I often have pieces for sale in the gallery.
Posted by Cassandra at 7/24/2008 01:16:00 PM