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subject: horse hair firing from: cullen, james j.

updated sun 21 nov 99


Bonnie Staffel on sat 20 nov 99

I played with this means of decorating porcelain pots. I planned on
loading my kiln with the pots I wanted to have the horsehair decoration
on the top shelf and in the position to receive the hair, sometimes
upside down. On cooling to about 1200 to 1000 degrees, you open the
lid part way and with heatproof gloves lay or toss strands of horsehair
over the pots. Sometimes I would get a dark black, other times a light
hazy marbled effect. Did not know if white or black hair made a
difference but do know that the temperature which created the burning of
the hair was critical. Some pyrometers are off by 200 degrees so that
also must be taken into account. I did this more easily in a front
loader electric kiln. My new kiln had a very heavy lid and it would
have been easier to manipulate the hair if someone else held the lid
open. Rememter - it is HOT in there so act quickly. If the temperature
is too hot, the carbon lines will burn up completely in the cooling.
The hair curls as it hits the pots and makes its own design. This has
been my experience. If you have any further questions, you can write me
off line at my new email address,

Good luck.

Bonnie of Charlevoix, MI.