My Salt Saggar and Horsehair Raku firing processes
I make each vessel on the potter's wheel using fine white clay.
Before the first firing, the vessels are burnished to the worn smoothness of a polished river stone and are fired for the first time.
Then they are sanded by hand with 400 to 600-grit sandpaper.
My Horse Hair vessels are pulled from the kiln at 1150 degrees. I lay horsehair on the surface of pots as Native Americans have for centuries. The hair burns into the surface of the clay making beautiful black and sepia marks and designs.
My Salt Saggar vessels are coated with a chemical that includes salts and Iron. They are then wrapped with inland oats, prairie grasses and seaweed that I collect from my travels. I add salt and copper oxide crystals then wrap it up like a baked potato in aluminum foil. I fire several at a time in my Raku kiln to 1500 degrees.
This is more of a fuming process to combine the salts and copper producing warm pinks, rusts and pale grays. No two are ever alike.
The final step is to polish the vessel with wax. This brings out the colors and produces a beautiful buttery surface.