Horse Hair Pottery

Legend has it that horse hair pottery was created accidentally when long hair strands from an Acoma Pueblo Native American potter, who was removing a piece of pottery from a hot kiln, fell onto the pot leaving behind an interesting carbon design on it’s surface. Today, horse hair pottery is a vibrant pottery technique practiced by many artists, most notably by Native American artists living in the southwestern United States. While horse hair pottery is traditionally made with the mane or tail hair of horses, you can also produce quality, although less dramatic, results utilizing fur from long-haired dogs and cats. I have found that feathers and the small black pin-points made by sprinkling sugar onto the 1100 degree pot also add to the dramatic look. At this temperature, the hair or sugar bursts into flames when placed on the pot and burns the carbon into the pores of the pot, creating the design. Horse hair pottery is not functional because of its porous quality. The pottery was first fired to only 1825 degrees F to allow the porous earthenware to absorb the carbon from the hair when the hair is placed on the pot at 1100 degrees. Stoneware pottery is heated to over 2000 degrees and glazed to be food safe. This initial high temperature would make the pot too dense to allow the carbon to burn into the pores. There is also no glaze applied to most horse hair pottery. It is only for decorative use. Never pour liquids into horse hair pottery or use it for food.

We are able to use your horse’s hair with a personalized inscription on the bottom. If you are interested in this option please send a message with your order in the shopping cart..

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