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.


  1. That is an awesome pot. I would not have left it there either.Interesting about the horse hair. Love the effect.
    Don't envy your moving process. Moving yes, process no.Talk about stress. However, I did lose 10 pounds with my last move. Hum, maybe I need to consider another one.
    Have fun and keep the posts coming.

  2. What a treasure you found -- maybe it's a directional token -- for you to visit Seagrove in your travels.

    You guys are headed on such an adventure. I'm looking forward to reading about them.

    Good luck with your closing!

  3. Things are happening so fast for you!!!!
    This is a token- you will come to Seagrove and met David of Turn and Burn pottery.
    I can't wait!
    About the Pot- I think we could put a down payment on it when you sell your house!

  4. Turn and Burn has lovely pottery. No, I'm not planning on doing any horsehair any time soon. I don't really like the process. Although, a friend of Wesley's has horses and I was thinking it might be fun to have some kids over one day to make stuff and use her horse's hair for a raku party. So much to do, so little time!

  5. a wee pot for a big trip

  6. What a fun find! Now you have to point your compass toward NC -only two more weeks?! Can't wait to see your upcoming photos and travel journal posts :o)

  7. Hi Patti, I feel skinnier today, does that count? Ha! I could stand to loose a few that's for sure. The stress of the last year has done it to me in the opposite direction. I plan on telling lots of stories along the way, thanks for staying tuned.

    Hi Judy, thanks, I like the way you think, what a nice thing to think about the pot being a directional totem. I am definitely headed to that area of the country so see all the folks I have met through their blogs.

    Hi Meredith, you really have a crystal ball, thanks, I am planning on visiting all the places I have heard about on the blogs. I plan on getting little mememtos along the way as I travel, but the down payment will have to be saved for the next place.

    Hi Tracey, yes, you are so correct so much to do and so little time and I hate packing, I have so many ideas for pots, Ugh. Oh well I really can't complain. A raku party sounds like fun, I'd be an assistant if you need one. Ha!

    Hi Jim, yes a wee pot, I like that, thanks.

    Hi Cindy, one time when we moved we ended up in Arkansas and folks asked us why and we told them either we ran out of gas or ran out of money, they got a kick out of that. I'm looking forward to the trip, thanks so much.

  8. a few at clayworks here in charlotte have done horsehair potter... what a find! please be in touch if you come close to charlotte. happy packing!

  9. Linda, you have such a sense of adventure. You Go Girl! Looking forward to reading about your times.

  10. Hi Amy, thanks, you can count on it - that I will be in touch, I am hoping to visit as many of my blogger friends as I can and also to visit other potter's in their studios along the way.

    Hi Patricia, thanks, nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say. I can't wait, but now I have so much to do I don't know what to do first. I really have to kick it into high gear.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment