Collectible Horse Hair Pottery – What is it???

Have you ever heard of horsehair pottery???  Some Native American tribes, including the Navajo, make beautiful and intriguing pottery known as horsehair pottery.  The making of horsehair pottery is a very ancient process, the results of which are beautiful handcrafted pieces of art.

As the legend goes, a pueblo artisan’s long hair accidently came into contact with the new pottery she was extracting from a very hot kiln.  Her hair stuck to the pottery and was quickly burned.  Her finished piece of pottery was so fascinating that she copied it using hairs from a horse’s tail rather than using her own hair.  Thus the name horsehair pottery came into being.

Native Americans have used horsehair pottery to honor the delivery of a new foal, as well as the existence of a cherished and beloved horse.  The creation of this intriguing pottery can be somewhat complex and dangerous at times.   Items are fired in a kiln at a low temperature.  The kiln is then shut off and allowed to cool.  The pieces are taken from the kiln and strings of horsehair are dropped randomly onto the very hot pieces.  The horsehair then burns off and leaves very distinctive patterns.  The smoke from the burning horsehair can also add unique shading to the pieces.  Because of the method used to produce horsehair pottery, no two pieces are ever exactly alike.  Feathers, sugar and sawdust are also occasionally utilized in this process as well.

We carry several different styles of horsehair pottery.  At the time of this writing, we have piggy banks and cat, horse and frog figurines.  Now that you know the history of horsehair pottery, you have a new appreciation for what goes into making it.


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