How to Make Horse Hair Pottery


How to Make Horse Hair Pottery. Horse hair pottery has become a fashionable trend in the world of ceramics. The technique is a simple process for the experienced potter who enjoys experimenting. The technique consists of using low-fire clay, which is burnished and then marked with the hair.

Things You'll Need

  • Clay
  • Baby oil
  • Polished stone
  • Raku kiln
  • Knife
  • Horse hair
  • Obtain horse hair. Ask horse owners if you do not have a horse of your own. You only need a very small amount for each piece of pottery.

  • Use low-fire clay pots. These pots must have small openings to create a large surface to decorate with horsehair. Small openings also reduce the tendency for the clay to crack.

  • Throw the clay pots so that they are thin and remove any excess clay. Trim with a knife and smooth the surfaces as necessary.

  • Prepare the pot for the burnishing by rubbing baby oil into it and then dampening it with a wet rag. Sand the pot completely with an extremely fine sandpaper.

  • Rub the entire surface of your pottery with a polished stone.

  • Place the burnished pot into a raku kiln and heat it to approximately 1,400 degrees F. Remove after approximately 20 minutes and drop one horse hair at a time onto the pot until you have the desired marking pattern. The horse hair will sizzle and leave a thin fuzzy black mark where it touches.

  • Cool the pot and then brush off the horse hairs. If you are unsatisfied with the pattern, reheat the pot and start over.

  • Experiment with different horse hair markings. Some potters prefer to layer hairs all over the pottery, while others choose certain sections, such as the lower edges of the pottery, to decorate with the horse hair marks.

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