Monday, October 02, 2006

Rajah's Horsehair

Another successful raku firing in the Valley. Details to Follow. Stay tuned.

So whats up with horsehair? I'm not sure if this is a true story, myth or what, about the origins of Horsehair Pottery. But, this is what I've been told.

Once upon a time in New Mexico, or there abouts, a beautiful Native American potter was uncovering her earth kiln to see all the wonderful new pots she had created. The pots were still hot, I mean they were HOT, and while she was bending over removing one of the pots her pony tail accidently brushed over the pot. It sizzled and shriveled and burned just enough to leave behind wonderful carbon traces on the pot. And thus, Horsehair pottery was born.

Myth? Fact? I don't know, but it makes one dang good story.

Oh, one last thing--No horses were harmed or mistreated in anyway, shape, or form, in the process of creating this beautiful teabowl.


Diary of a Potter said...

Dear Jeff
Happy New Year.

K. Whitaker said...

Sorry, CleanMud. Your lovely story Horsehair originated by Michael Morier of Belen, New Mexico.
At the height of his career, he was in 52 galleries, including Weems, Ortega, Southwest Mercado. He collaborated with Robert Redbird for a time, who painted beautifully costumed Native American people on the sides of larger pots. Perhaps this has added to the myth that the origin is Native American (as well as the first person who imitated him and claimed it was Native American- refuted by his own tribe!)
Your pot is beautiful. I like that you put the black glaze on the inside. Michael worked as a special educator on a Pueblo reservation where, after having studied pottery at Michigan State University, he learned to burnish. He began using the fire pit method to blacken the bottoms of the pots and then began throwing all sorts of things on top to try to get an effect, including feathers, sawdust and dog hair. What worked the best, he found, was horsehair. He controlled the flow of the smoke by carefully placing the hair after a few years of random throwing. Thanks for trying to find the origin.