hot stuff

“Applying the hair has to be done bare-handed because we wouldn’t have enough dexterity with gloves on. It’s hot work. The hair is applied by grasping a couple strands of hair with one hand and, with the other hand and a twig, we lead the hair first to the bottom of the piece and then lead the burning hair up or across the surface. The whole process is usually done in than three minutes or less.” Ken Larson

ken and pat larson pull pots like this one from their 1500 degree kiln and drag strands of hair (yup, i said hair) across it, burning it onto the surface. the hair burns into ash, leaving tiny deposits of carbon and smoke that are absorbed into the porous clay, creating a permanent design on the pot.

the larsons use both horse and human hair to create what they call 'horse hair raku'. the end result is more delicate than true horse hair pottery and their twist on this ancient technique is breathtaking - some of the loveliest i've seen. hot stuff.

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