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Horsehair & Obvara Pottery Firing

September 25, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 2:30 pm

Learn about Horsehair Raku and Obvara Pottery with Instructor: Keith H. Gordon while making your own art to keep and display. Keith will operate a portable gas-fired kiln to heat ceramic pieces to 1700F so they can be smoked while still hot. Public can buy a bisque tile that they will then decorate using horsehair, feathers, iron chloride, and yeast solution (a technique from Medieval Europe). Potters may bring their own bisque-fired ceramics to be fired and decorated with the same treatments. Each kiln load takes approximately an hour, and pots will be cool enough to take home about 20 minutes after they are decorated. Wall tiles can be hung with a glue-on Disc ($3 additional).

Register for 10am Class $25  Register for 12:30pm Firing (Potters Only) $25
Purchase a tile $10

All experience levels: 10am
Potters only: 12:30pm
Ages: adult (14+)

Class Fee:
All experience levels (10am class): $25. Materials Fee: $10 for one tile. Up to 2 additional times may be purchased during class. (limit 3 tiles per person).
Potters Class, (12:30pm): $25, plus $10/pot fired (limit 5 pots). Select and pay for the number of pots you will bring upon registration. No materials cost.

Available in class: Disc hangers (optional) $3 each.

Instructor Bio:
Keith is a second-generation potter with 50+ years of experience. He manages the clay studio at Cedar Lane Arts Center for the Ossining Recreation Dep’t. and also teaches ceramics at the New Castle and Pelham Art Centers. Keith is an officer of Ossining Arts Council and Hudson River Potters. His work is displayed at http://CageyCreations.CrotonArts.org   Instagram: @Cagey_Creations

Background info on processes:
The obvara firing process originated in Eastern Europe around the 12th Century and involves scalding the finish on the pottery to seal the porous surface. A bisqued pot is heated to 1650°F and then dipped into a specific obvara yeast mixture before being dunked in water to rapidly cool the piece. The effects are quite stunning.

Horsehair raku pots are similarly heated and then various combustible items (horsehair, feathers, sugar, etc.) are then laid on the surface where they will burn leaving black marks and gray smoke shading. Ferric chloride is also sprayed on the pieces to produce yellow-gold coloring.


September 25, 2021
10:00 am - 2:30 pm
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Bethany Arts Community
914 944-4278
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Bethany Arts Community
40 Somerstown Rd.
Ossining, NY 10562 United States
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