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Horsehair Raku Firing Technique

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Raku pottery differs from other kiln fired pottery in that it is removed from the kiln when it is extremely hot.

Horsehair pottery is so named because of the use of actual horsehair to create a unique look. Is a method of decorating pottery through the application of horsehair and to heated biscuit ware fresh from the kiln. The burning horsehair creates smoke patterns and carbon trails on the surface of the heated ware that remain as decoration after the ware cools.

The decorating is performed when the ware is between 480 and 700°C; any lower and the horsehair won't combust, any higher and the carbon will completely burn off leaving no decorative effect.

This beautiful shallow bowl by artist Jean Handley is a perfect example of this rustic firing technique, and can be found at the Bottle Tree Gallery in Heber Springs, AR 72543.