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A word has come to light lately to describe the way in which words, thoughts and ideas are brought about throughout society.
OLD INDIAN TRICK!!Myself, I believe that the horsehair technique was stumbled upon and made popular by one of the Indian tribes.
As the Indian maid was taking pottery out of the fire pit, some of her long hair fell upon the hot pottery and burned a black trail into the pottery.
They were smart enough to try hair from the tail and mane of their horses as well as other animals.
They were selling this type of pottery long before the white man figured it out.
Below is the white man's horsehair technique for the following photographs.
Start with a very simple round thrown or poured piece of pottery or ceramic made from low fire clay, with a small opening to reduce the chance of cracking and increase the amount of surface area for the horsehair to decorate.
Since the low fire clay is very smooth, unlike raku clay, it is more likely to crack when it is removed from the raku kiln.
Throw or pour the pottery or ceramic to a medium thickness and trim off every bit of excess clay.
Sand and burnish the pottery or ceramic when it is bone dry and then bisque fire it to Cone 010.
The basic firing technique is very simple.
Take burnished pottery or ceramic, put it in a raku kiln and heat it up to about 1400°F or so.
Take it out of the raku kiln and drop the hairs onto it one at a time until you’re satisfied with the resulting pattern of marks.
When it’s cool enough to handle, brush off the carbonized bits of hair and you’re done.
If you don’t like it, you can always reheat it and try it again.
For a little extra pizzazz, try spraying the hot pottery with ferric chloride to make it orange or drop a bit of paper inside to blacken the interior while you’re embellishing it with hair.
The horsehair technique can also be used on pottery or ceramic that has not been burnished, on textured surfaces or on pots partially covered with raku or low fire glaze.
The possibilities are unlimited, once you’ve conquered the first challenge of getting a supply of horsehair, you’re free to play and come up with your own unique style of horsehair pottery.
OK, here we go step by step!!
Bone dry pottery made from a low fire clay body.
A couple of polished stones.
A bottle of baby oil.
To prepare the pottery for burnishing, it is first sanded with very fine sandpaper.
Ferric chloride is caustic and produces toxic fumes when sprayed onto hot pottery.
It is also bad for the grass,notice the tarp on the ground.
TIPBurnishing by dousing a bone dry pot with baby oil, dampening it, then rubbing it with a stone, works best with low fire high talc clay bodies.
Other low fire clays should work equally well.
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Have you ever come up with a good idea while working with your handmade pottery or ceramics and thought that you would like to share it with others? You have? Well, why not send it to us and we will add it to the tips page for all to see.
Handmade pottery can be a very gratifying hobby that produces fun and satisfying results. For many people it's an enjoyable release that is created by working an inanimate mound of clay into a beautiful work of art that you made through your artistic abilities.
The best way of starting out is to take a few lessons. You will probably waste quite a bit in materials when you first get started. Figuring out how to truly make handmade pottery correctly and shape into what you want it to be can be quite an ordeal. The different tools that a normal shop will have can be fun to try. You will soon see which ones you like to use the most and then when you are ready you will know which ones to buy.
With the help of the internet, you can now purchase most if not all of your ceramic and pottery tools and supplies online. We are located far from any well supplied dealers and yet working with reliable ceramic and pottery suppliers online has allowed us to recieve most of our orders within a timely manner.
When you get all set up, just enjoy the hobby and have fun at it. Some people get pretty serious and start selling their creations at craft fairs and small stores, but others just like to create items for themselves, relatives, and friends. Whichever kind of handmade pottery you desire to endeavor, enjoy the hobby and have fun doing it.
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