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Horsehair & Obvara Pottery (all experiences)


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Horsehair & Obvara Pottery Firing with Instructor, Keith H. Gordon

Learn about Horsehair Raku and Obvara Pottery 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).

Date: Sep 25, 2021
Time: 10am
All experience levels
Ages: adult (14+)

Class Fee:  $25
Materials Fee: $10 for one tile (link below). Up to 2 additional times may be purchased during class. (limit 3 tiles per person).

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.

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