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FAQ's

Click Here to see the process of how it is made

Horse hair pottery is an old Native American technique.

The story goes that a Navajo woman was burning her pottery, and during the process, her hair accidentally fell onto the piece that she was creating. She then experimented with all different types of hair and found that the texture of the horses’ hair left the most desirable results.


Q. My horse is a chestnut, what color should I expect?

A. The hair applied to the piece always burns out black regardless of the color of the horse or dog.

 

Q. Can my pottery hold food or water?

A. Because it is not glazed, it is not food safe or water safe. However, wrapped candy may be put into it, or some clients have put floral liners in their pottery for floral arrangements that require moisture.

 

Q. How do I care for my piece?

A. Your pottery will come clean by wiping with a dry or slightly damp cloth. Also, as with many types of art, full sun exposure may cause fading.

 

Q. Can I use more than one of my horse's or dog's hair on the same piece?

A. Yes, although the only way to distinguish the two would be if there was a distinct difference in the coarseness of their hair. For instance, using the tail hair from one of your horses, and the mane hair from the other.

 

Q. Which burns better, mane hair or tail hair - under coat ?

A. The coarser the hair the broader the veining line, so the tail hair tends to leave a heavier line. A mixture of both is good, but either mane hair or tail hair is attractive.

For canine pieces, the coarsest and longest hair is best. The undercoat will not leave a veining line.

 

Q. Where do you get your pieces from?

A. I create each piece from the ball of clay to the end result. I am never finished with a piece until I am thrilled with the final results.

(Visual of the process on the Process page)

 

Q. How is the hair applied?

A. After the desired shape has been obtained on the pottery wheel, it is then cleaned up, bisque fired in the kiln, and then put into an open fire. The fire gives the piece its background coloring and raises the temperature to approximately 800 to 1000 degrees. It is then pulled out of the fire and the hair is carefully laid on the exterior and singes on from the heat. The piece is then cooled, cleaned, waxed, and polished.

(Visual of the process on the Process page)

 

Q. Where do you get the horse hair that you use?

A. Any ‘horse person’ will tell you that the hair is abundant. I also get some of the hair from clients that have personalized pieces done, and they really do not want the hair back, (like I said, it’s abundant). However I seldom keep hair from the memorial pieces that I make. Even if the client does not wish to keep the remainder of the hair, I think that it is better for them to take it; they might want to use it for something else at a later date.

 

Q. How do I know that my horse or dog hair is being used on my piece?

A. Well there are two ways to be certain; one is a DNA test and the other would be that you come out and watch me burn, (and you are always welcome). Otherwise, I would be glad to forward customer references and/or personal references. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I love animals and have spent a lifetime honoring our equine friends. I would never do anything to discredit the relationship between someone and their horse or dog.

 

Q. Did you invent this technique?

A. No, though many aspects of my art is my own technique, it is said that a Native American woman created this technique. She was burning her pottery and her hair accidentally fell onto her pot. She noticed the result and then experimented with different types of hair. I myself have used  moose hair, buffalo hair, dog hair, donkey hair, and burro hair.

 

Q. What type of clay do you use?

A. I use a special porcelain mix. It has a bit more grog in it because fire is such an inconsistent heat and I lose about 25% of my work to thermal shock. The grog helps cut my loss a bit.

 

Q. How much hair do I need to send to have a personalized piece made?

A. Approximately a  half sandwich bag full, or a palm full. I will be happy to send back any unused portion. I generally request more than I use just in case a piece cracks (thermal shock) while I am applying the hair. If you need to send your hair via mail, please do not send me all of your horse's or dog's hair if he or she is deceased. We would both feel just awful if something happened to it in transit.

 

Q. Does the hair have to be clean?

A. YES!

 

 

If you have any questions, comments or concerns that you would like to share, please feel free to contact us, we would love to hear from you.

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