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flowerdry

Horse hair pottery

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flowerdry    128

Hello wonderful group. I was at a pottery show the other day and a couple of potters had two types of horsehair pots on display, the standard white ones I'm used to seeing and ones that had a burnt orange tinge to them. How is this colored effect being achieved? I wish I would have asked them.

I also saw some where feathers were used the same way as horsehair. Has anyone else tried this and if so, do you just lay the feather on the hot pot? Can any kind of feather be used?

 

Does anyone know if any other kind of hair works like the horsehair? I tried some what I thought was elephant hair, but it just melted like plastic. I suspect it was plastic and I got gyped buying fake elephant hair bracelets in S. Africa. I now have some real elephant hair and if it works, I will tell you!

 

 

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~janie    8

The burnt orange could have been from terra sigillatta. I have a pot that I put red terra sig on when leatherhard and burnished, then bisqued. It is burnt orange. Or, that could just be the natural color of the clay.

 

I have used feathers, and they make a nice mark. Hold the feather shaft with a pair of medical clamps (hemostats?), and just rock the feather on the surface; not back and forth, just from one end to the other. We have used all kinds of feathers, even those red, blue, green ones sold in little packets at Hobby Lobby and WalMart. The only ones that I didn't like were big feathers. They just didn't make a good mark.

 

We used horsehairs, which you know about, goat hairs, which worked nicely too, and hair from the heads of my grandkids. The hair from the grandkids was too fine, it didn't make a very good mark. I do wish it had worked better.

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lynny    5

post-6239-132272624478_thumb.jpgpost-6239-132272623445_thumb.jpgHi

 

I havnt done horse hair work but have done a lot of naked raku, which typically has black carbon marks on a white background (when using white raku clay).

As comments the clay body colour can make a difference.

But when I want a coloured background I stain my terra sig with body stains and burnish that on at leather hard. When my 'waste slip/glaze' are chipped up I end up with colour of choice + carbon marks. Lots of fun and the same technique will work for horse hair, I've seen others do it.

These pics are my naked raku versions of a coloured background.

cheers Lyn

 

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post-6239-132272622499_thumb.jpg

post-6239-132272623445_thumb.jpg

post-6239-132272624478_thumb.jpg

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

Most burnt orange I have seen at this temperature is from Ferric Clhoride sprayed onto the hot pot or applied before the firing. Horse hair /feathers are applied to a hot piece fired at 1200 degrees F. after it is removed from the kiln.

I have found duck or turkey feathers to work best. Duck feathers have more oil and really give a great black carbonization.

Marcia

post-1954-132274218887_thumb.jpeg

post-1954-132274218887_thumb.jpeg

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JLowes    28

As Marcia suggested maybe the orange hue was from ferric chloride. I use that technique a bit and have attached an example of horsehair on a ferric chloride fumed pot. In this instance, I coated the pot with a ferric chloride solution, wrapped it tightly in aluminum foil and fired it to 1100 degees F in a raku kiln. I pulled the pot, removed the foil, , dropped a tissue inside for some color, set the pot on a shard of kiln shelf and applied the horsehair while the pot was "in the zone" between 1000 to 800 degrees. After it cooled, I cleaned up the exterior, blew out the interior tissue ashes and gave it a coat of paste wax for sheen. I find that I can get a range of color from schoolbus yellow to a deep purple by varying the temperature when I pull the pot.

 

John

 

post-2045-132276576299_thumb.jpg

post-2045-132276576299_thumb.jpg

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flowerdry    128

Thanks everyone! I will try some duck feathers. John, the beautiful pot in the picture looks like what I saw so ferric chloride must be the answer.

Doris.

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Guest alabamapotter   
Guest alabamapotter

>>>I also saw some where feathers were used the same way as horsehair. Has anyone else tried this and if so, do you just lay the feather on the hot pot? Can any kind of feather be used?<<<

 

Feathers have been used for centuries by leaving designs on hot pots..... There are historical reports from I think British 1700's about Cherokee women decorating

their pottery by drawing designs as the pots were cooling on the coals. I was told that carbon is burned off between 700 and 800 degrees and the carbon designs

are left on the pottery just below those temps. There is a short opportunity for decorating with feathers, about 10 minutes over an open fire.... but if you don't like

the results, just put enough wood over the vessel to burn off any carbon designs you don't like. Decorating with carbon from feathers is one way in over 36 methods

used by indiginous tribes over the world and throughout history. (in college I had to research and make an example of each.)

 

The only horse hair pottery I ever went to was at the Univ of Indiana around 1998. For some reason the demonstration was held in an enclosed shed. The stench of the burning

horse hair was enough to gag a maggot and seeped into everyones clothes to remind us of the demonstration for hours after. It isn't for me.

 

Try different types and see what influences your likes the most. Listen to the experts.

good luck,

Alabama Potter

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

From my experience I find the time for carbonizing a feather ot horse hair onto the surface of a pot to be very fast...possible 30 seconds or less. They cool rapidly and once they hit that temperature the ability to carbonize the organic material is gone. I am firing bisqued porcelain with terra sig. and the pots are thin. I finish cooling them upside down. This has greatly reduced post firing cracking.

 

Marcia

 

 

 

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oldlady    1,323

there is a potter in florida named "the Hairy Potter" who puts horsehair and spanish moss on his work. it comes out a little more pinkish than the orange but is really nice. there is more than one hairy potter so be sure you check out his website to see the results.

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buckbuck    3

Here is a picture of a jar using Ferric Chloride and Horsehair. You do have a very small window to put the horsehair on post firing. This horsehair was put on before the pot was wrapped. If you spray feric chloride post firing, use an approved mask. this stuff is nasty! If you put any carbon based item in the wrap and then fire be careful not to put too much.

post-3144-135387873857_thumb.jpg

post-3144-135387873857_thumb.jpg

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I have used ferric chloride and horsehair over a crackle glaze with good results. With that method, scrubbing too hard with steel wool will remove some of the horsehair.

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