How to Make a Horsehair Wall Platter
Create a distinctive piece of pottery by embellishing it with horsehair strands.
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Materials and Tools:
rolling texture wheel
ferric chloride spray
bucket of water
combustible materials; bailing twine, horsehair, newspaper
fire-retardant jacket and fire-retardant gloves
black permanent ink
soap and water
wire for hanging
1. Prepare the clay by wedging it. Throw the clay on the wheel and center the clay.
2. Throw a tall cylinder.
4. Dry the platter with a hair dryer to help it stiffen and hold its shape. Smooth the inside perfectly with a rib tool.
5. Add decorative lines and a texture design with the pattern roller.
7. Flip the platter upside down and trim the bottom so that a wire will fit in the foot for hanging later. Let the platter dry to the bone-dry stage, which should take three or four days.
9. Glaze decorative lines in the piece with black cone 05/06 glaze.
11. Using raku tongs, pull the platter from the kiln at 1,350 degrees. Place it in a trash can with newspaper and combustible materials. The piece will ignite the paper, helping it to cool more slowly.
13. While it's still in the trash can, spray the platter with a ferric chloride solution to achieve an orange and rust coloration.
14. Remove the platter from the trash can with raku tongs. Let the platter cool.
15. Wash the platter with soap and water. Dry.
17. Wrap a piece of wire around the foot so that the platter can be hung, or add felt pads to the bottom.
Meg Spielman Peldo makes a ceramic platter, breaks it, then reassembles it to create this work of art.