Darlene Foster's Blog

Horsehair Pottery

Posted on: March 22, 2020

During a visit to Sedona, Arizona, a few years ago, my daughter and I were intrigued by the horsehair pottery we saw in the wonderful shops there. My potter daughter decided to create some of this pottery herself while I was visiting her last fall. I was privileged to watch this fascinating process. The four pieces turned out well. Here are some pictures of her creating horsehair pottery.

Carefully removing the pot from the kiln
And placing it on a cement slab
Applying the fine horsehair to the hot piece of pottery

Horsehair pottery is pottery that incorporates hair from the manes and tails of horses into its design. The process of creating horsehair pottery involves applying strands of hair to the surface of a hot clay pot that has just been removed from the kiln. The hair carbonizes, leaving random patterns in the pot’s surface. Horsehair makes great patterns because of its coarseness and length. Tail hair is thicker, so it leaves bolder patterns, and finer mane hair produces more subtle lines.

Every pot created using this pottery technique is unique. Many artists add other design features to the horsehair pots they create. Some artists use the same technique with dog or cat hair. For instance, my daughter has used the pet’s hair on urns she has created to hold a dear deceased pet’s ashes.  

The above information is based on information from this website. https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-horsehair-pottery. Check it out to learn more.

Adding more hair
All four vases finished
Each one unique
The finished pieces after waxing

All the pictures were taken by me, the unofficial photographer, except the last picture taken by madmudslinger

For more of my daughter’s work check out her website www.madmudslinger.com

Follow her on Instagram where she posts many pictures of her work https://www.instagram.com/madmudslinger/

Have you seen or heard of horsehair pottery before?

Copyright © 2020 darlenefoster.wordpress.com – All rights reserved

72 Responses to "Horsehair Pottery"

Fascinating! I never heard of horsehair pottery before. The pots are beautiful and what creative way of using pet hair on urns commemorating our furry friends!

It was fascinating to watch the process. No one knows for sure who started using this process, although it has been attributed to Native Americans. Marcelle is often commissioned to make urns for deceased pets.

I have never heard of this before but they look amazing!

They really do come out nicely. And always a surprise too.

And of course, unique…

That is amazing. I love these old methods of creating. I spend hours watching people shape choppers and spears from natural pieces. Thanks for sharing.

I know. There is something mesmerizing about watching these methods that take time and patience.

The vases are beautiful!! It was fun to observe the process, too!

I’m glad you enjoyed it, Liz.

Like most of your previous readers, I have not heard of this type of pottery before. While the world is coming to almost a standstill, this process seems calming – and beautiful too! Thank you, Darlene!

Horsehair pottery is very popular in Arizona and New Mexico. I have picked up a few pieces over the years. It was great to watch the process. I love things that take time and patience. The end result was fabulous.

This is a fascinating technique I’d never heard of and the pots are beautiful. Love the idea of a unique urn for a pet’s ashes.

Pleased you enjoyed learning about this technique, Mary.

I have never heard of this type of pottery….how cool! Great post Darlene…love the pictures and the information!!

Art comes in so many forms, doesn’t it? Learning about art and looking at it can take us away from disturbing current events.

I so agree Darlene!! Be well!!

Your daughter’s pottery is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

Add me to the list of learners. It’s fascinating to think about how this process started.

Thanks for sharing this, Darlene! There are so many interesting ways to create pottery. I hadn’t heard of this one before.

There is many ways and my daughter has tried them all. She’s been making pottery since she was very little.

I’ve never seen it before, this is is fascinating. Thank you for sharing!

Glad you enjoyed it. I love watching her work.

A beautiful technique… the pots are gorgeous.

I love how they turned out. She takes her work seriously.

I can see that, Darlene.

What a fascinating technique to make gorgeous artwork.

It was so great to be able to watch this technique.

It was great to read about it too. Thank you. 🙂

Wow! so creative. I have never heard of Horsehair pottery before. Her work is amazing. Thanks for sharing Darlene.

Thanks. She was born creative! Pleased you enjoyed it.

This reminds me of Raku pottery

My daughter makes Raku pottery as well. Also cool to watch.

Yeah, I love it. It is such an exciting process

I see you are a potter as well. Thanks for stopping by.

I am in awe of anyone who can create like that. Amazing!

Thanks!! She is quite amazing.

I marvel at the creativity of such artistry. Such a beautiful result. I’m guessing the process might be a bit smelly? No matter when such beauty is the outcome.

Yes, burnt hair can be smelly so it’s best to do it outside. It was actually a drizzly day but didn’t hamper the process. It does come out very nicely.

That’s so cool! I wonder who came up with the idea of wrapping horse hair around a piece of smoking hot pottery? lol
I love your daughter’s hat!

I know, it is cool. It has been attributed to the Native Americans but no one knows for sure. I love that hat too.

How neat! I had no idea!

This is fascinating, Darlene. It would never have occurred to me that the end result might have been created by burning hair. Your daughter does make beautiful pots.

Art takes many forms. I’m pleased you like her pots.

Wow. I’ve never heard of this, Darlene. And those finished pieces are gorgeous! I love pottery and have vases from all over the world. I just checked out your daughter’s website. She’s so creative. 🙂

Thanks so much for checking out her website. She was born creative! Collecting pottery is a great pastime. xo

Very cool, Darlene. I loved seeing your photos. It’s fascinating, isn’t it. I got a lovely piece of horsehair pottery when I lived in Albuquerque 15 years ago. It made the trip with me when I moved to DC, but when I relocated last year I gave it up (and 4/5ths of everything else I owned).
Thanks for sharing this fun moment with us. Hugs on the wing.

I just knew you would like this. You and my daughter would get along very well. I gave up 75% of my stuff when I moved to Span. There is not too much I miss. Sending hugs back. Please stay safe and healthy.

Thanks for sharing your daughter’s beautiful pottery, Darlene. I also learned something new about horsehair pottery. Stay safe and well. #senisal

I´m glad you enjoyed learning about horsehair pottery. Take care of yourself as well, Natalie. xo

Wow! That is so cool and the results are beautiful! I would love to learn how to do this.

It is amazing, isn’t it? It’s not as easy as it looks.

Fascinated Darlene. I’d never of horse hair pottery. Your daughter is certainly gifted. And Sedona, one of my favorite places on earth. ❤

And mine. Sedona is magical, isn´t it? She is gifted and I´m so proud of her. Hugs back.

Yes and yes. 🙂 ❤

Never heard of this before but they look nice!!

I’ve never heard of this, but I love how they turned out! Interesting process – I know nothing about pottery.

My daughter has been doing pottery for most of her life, so I´ve learned a lot about it through her. I am always amazed at what she creates. Thanks.

This is an interesting post, Darlene. I haven’t heard of horsehair pottery before.

It is not that common, mostly found in the southern US. She loves trying something different. Thanks, Robbie.

I’m with the rest of the group, not knowing of this technique. It must have been a pleasure to watch your daughter create these pieces.

I’m pleased I was able to introduce this type of pottery to my readers. It was a real treat to be able to watch my daughter in action.

I’ve never heard of horsehair pottery before either, so thanks for the info, Darlene!

Glad to show something new to the blogging world. xo

Wow. Fascinating!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Glad you enjoyed it.

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