Friday, September 25, 2009
Seagrove Horsehair Pot
The other day I met one of my customers for coffee so I could deliver a couple of ceramic pieces they requested. We had a nice visit and then we parted ways. As long as I was in Visalia I decided I might as well stop in at the Discovery Shop. These specialty resale stores are run by the American Cancer Society throughout California. I make a point to shop there whenever I can because purchases and donations help fund research to find cures for cancer.
I was browsing in the store and on a bottom shelf was a small pot which looked like horsehair pottery. I was intrigued and picked it up and it was, indeed, horsehair pottery. I decided I would purchase the pot since it was very small, about 3.5 inches tall and 2.25 inches wide, and the price was also very reasonable. If you are here for the first time, I'm moving and the last thing I need is something else to pack and move, so that's why I was glad the pot was so small. Finding items at reasonable prices is another reason I like to shop at the Discovery Shop.
As I was walking over to the counter to pay, I saw there was a business card inside the pot. I pulled the card out and it read, Turn and Burn Pottery, Seagrove, NC. I was surprised to find a pot from Seagrove in the Discovery Shop here in California. I guess you never know when or where your pottery will turn up. That's a good reason to be sure to sign your pots, and putting a business card inside doesn't hurt either.
I took three photos of the pot, since each side has a different look. When I got home I read horsehair pottery is a recent 20th century development and is attributed to Corrine Louis a third generation Native American potter of the Yellowcorn Clan of the Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico. In the late 1980's, by accident, Corrine's long hair came in contact with a hot piece of pottery and left a black mark of carbon and smoke on the clay surface. This coincidence ultimately led to the development of the horsehair technique. Horse hair, especially the coarse tail hair, leaves a very distinct visual mark on the pottery surface. Gee, my hair is really coarse, perhaps the next time I get a hair cut I'll save a little. Since Tracey Broome has a raku kiln I'm wondering if she plans on trying any horsehair pottery at her studio.
Good news, the closing date of our home has been moved up since all our inspections have been perfect. I'm packing like a mad woman because now we have less than two weeks and we're out of our home. Yikes! We'll visit a few friends on the West Coast and then head out on our travels across the country. So stay tuned, you won't want to miss a single post about the adventures of the traveling potter, Linda Starr (hey, that's me). I can't wait. I hope you'll come back and travel along with me, it should be fun.