Frequently Asked Questions
My horse is a chestnut, what color should I expect?
The hair applied to the piece always burns out black regardless of the color of the horse.
Can my pottery hold food or water?
Because it is not glazed, it can not hold food or water. If I put a clear glaze over the piece, it would have to reach such a high temperature to vitrify the glaze, it would burn the hair out.
Some of my clients will put a floral liner in a piece to accommodate cut floral arrangements.
How do I care for my piece?
Your pottery can be wiped with a dry or slightly damp cloth. And as with many mediums, full sun exposure may cause fading over time.
Can I use more than one of my horses or dogs hair on a piece?
Yes. Although the only way to distinguish the difference is the coarseness or the length of the hair. For instance, the tail hair from one horse and the mane hair from another might make them identifiable.
Which burns better, mane or tail hair?
The coarser the hair, the broader the line. Tail hair generally leaves a broader line. Both work great, but either alone makes a nice visual outcome.
For canine pieces the coarsest and longest hair is best. From the ridge (between the shoulder blades), the tail, or the flank.
Where do you get your pottery pieces from?
I create each piece from the ball of clay to the end result. This also allows me to make slight changes on shapes at a customers request. My pieces are hand thrown on the wheel and not from molds. I am never finished with a piece until I am thrilled with the final results.
Where do you get the horse hair that you use?
Any ‘horse person’ will tell you that hair is abundant. I get hair from clients that don’t want the remainder from a commissioned piece, or barn friends that toss it in my tack box after they’ve pulled their horses mane or trimmed. However, I never keep the hair from a deceased horse. Even if a client does not wish to keep it, I always send it back. I think that its better for them to have it because they might want it in the future for something else.
How do I know that my horse or dog hair is being used?
Well, there are two ways to be certain; one is a DNA test and the other would be to come out and watch me fire it (and you are always welcome!). Otherwise, I would be glad to forward customer references, or personal references. Anyone who knows anything about me, knows that I love animals and have spent a lifetime honoring our equine friends. I would never do anything to discredit the relationship between someone and their companion. I too am a horse owner and live/understand the bond.
Did you invent this technique?
No, although I am self taught and many aspects of my work is my own technique, it is said that a Navajo woman created this technique. She was firing her pottery one day and her hair fell on it. She noticed the results and started experimenting with different types of hair.
I myself have fire with horse hair, canine hair, moose hair, buffalo hair, donkey, hair, feathers, and snake shed.
How much hair do I need for a custom piece?
Approximately a half sandwich bagful or a palmful for the firing process. If you choose a piece with a braid embellishment, Ill need enough length to make it around the piece. I will send back any unused hair.
When sending hair, please don’t send all your horse or dog hair if he/she is deceased. If it got lost in the mail we would both feel awful if something happened to it in transit!
Does the hair have to be cleaned?