Our Story

lidded-urns

Horsehair (and Pet hair) pottery starts with white clay that is hand thrown on the wheel into a vase or lidded urn. We also create handcrafted clay jewelry, tiles, and ornaments.

After it dries hard, an ancient process (developed by the Greeks and Romans)  called Terra sigillata is used. This consists of applying liquid clay to the surface, then it’s polished to a sheen. This was used in lieu of glaze to make the surface shiny. Then the piece is bisque fired to 1600 degrees. This leaves the fired clay porous, so it absorbs the carbon and smoke from the horse and pet hair. Next, the clay piece is warmed up in the kiln to about 1000 degrees. While hot, strands of hair are laid against the clay surface. The hair randomly attaches to the surface, and begins to wiggle and dance. This is where we get our name, “Dancing Fire Pottery.”

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Depending on the thickness of the hair, a deposit of carbon and smoke is absorbed into the clay surface, leaving permanent markings. When the temperature falls, the clay will no longer accept the hair, and the process is over. Then the ashes are whipped away and the piece is waxed to a soft luster.

Horsehair pottery is decorative artwork, and not able to hold water, unless it is sealed with Thompson Water Seal. (We can add this treatment if requested.) When finished, we mail you a beautiful touchstone of love (your Vase) that connects you with your love for your horse or pet. You can celebrate your pet while living, and you can commemorate them after they have transitioned.

Place this pottery anywhere you want to be reminded of your beloved. Many of our customers get several pieces for gift giving as well. One customer got four jewelry boxes, one for each person that loved and rode the horse. We are also happy carve the name of your horse on the bottom of the clay piece. For our necklaces, we have room to place an initial on the back.

The color of the hair doesn’t change the process. Whether your horse is blond or dark, the tracings on the clay will look the same. The thickness of the hair is what makes the difference.

We ask for 40+ tail hairs to get the thicker lines, but any hair will work to make something beautiful. For dogs and cats and other furry pets, we ask that you mail us about 2 tablespoons.

For all inquiries, I would love to hear about your horse (or dog). Please e-mail me at scotty@dancingfirepottery.com

or call (707) 277-1222.  Please leave a message with your phone number and I will call you back.  I return calls on Friday and Saturday.

CUSTOMER TESTIMONIALS:

“I can’t say enough great things about this guy — he did a wonderful job on Julius’s hair pot and the pendants. Thank you so much!! For all of my horse friends — Scotty is fantastic!!!”
—Megan Delgado Mitchell

“Scotty, my daughter absolutely LOVED her vessel and jewelry! She actually cried and said best gift ever! Thank you so much! She is giving her trainer her vessel tomorrow for Christmas! Can’t thank you enough! You really have a talent that touches people
—J. Cullen

“I can’t tell you how incredibly happy I am with the vase and jewelry Scotty has made for me. These beautiful pieces will be such a amazing reminder of my special boy for a long time to come. It has far exceeded my expectations!”
—KARLIE MANEOTIS

“Scotty, Thank you again so much for creating these beautiful horsehair pottery tiles for the jewelry boxes, the necklaces and the pony hanging ornament. I was mesmerized by the video watching Rodney’s hair being transformed forever on the tile. What a beautiful way to preserve the happy memories of this gentle and beloved horse. And what precious, unique gifts these are for those who remember Rodney so fondly! Thank you for your caring and craftsmanship.”
—NADINE LANDAU

“Absolutely gorgeous! I had art work made with my horse’s hair a couple years back, and now I’m doing the same for my best friend’s horse. Scotty has a very special talent, his work allows us to keep our furry friends with us forever. Thank you Scotty! I will come back to Scotty for all of my horse hair art!”
—MARY KATE

I received the piece. It’s wonderful. Thanks you so much for your help with this. We love it.
—Tiffany

It arrived today!  It is BEAUTIFUL!!! And PERFECT!!!  It is a Sweetest Day gift for my husband so I will be giving it to him next Saturday (the 15th). I am going to get a bamboo plant to put in it (they do well in a bed of just small gravel). I will absolutely send you pictures once it is all planted! THANK YOU so much!!!
—Monica

Hi Scotty
I opened the box finally yesterday and think they are perfect.  Tammy will be very pleased. I like your idea of the black collar around the vase.  Looks like a dog collar. Thank you for your beautiful work.
—Jeanne