Legend holds that horsehair pottery was discovered by a pueblo potter whose long hair blew against a piece of pottery she was removing from a hot kiln, stuck, and carbonized. The result was so interesting that she duplicated it with hair from a horse’s tail.
The process of creating horse hair pottery is much like the process of forming any other piece. Each piece of pottery is hand poured and sanded until smooth, then cleaned to ensure that each feature is well defined. Pieces are painted from natural, mixed colors, then fired. This process is both hazardous and time consuming, and if temperatures and other specific conditions are not perfect, can go easily wrong. Once firing is completed, while the piece is red hot, horse hair is applied in a free-style manner, giving each piece its originality. Fine lines are created with the hair from the mane of the horse, while thick lines are created from the hair of the tail. Finally, the pottery is polished with a paste wax (no paint or glaze is used), giving it a beautiful shine for a one of a kind piece of art.
The horse is highly regarded in many cultures, representing the essence of stamina, agility, beauty and strength. Horse hair pottery, then, is made with those values in mind.