Pottery Artist: Shirley Smith

Navajo Pottery Artist, Shirley Smith specializes in Horsehair Pottery along with her husband Jasper and her son Jasper

Horsehair pottery is created by application of horsehair or other dry carbonaceous materials to the heated ware.  Greenware is cleaned and burnished with a stone to the desired finish.  Pieces are then fired to about 1400 degrees then removed from the kiln with long tongs and protective gear while still hot.  Temperatures between 500 and 700 degrees are effective in producing wandering streaks and smoke patterns on the pottery.  Lower temperatures do not produce enough combustion while higher temperatures burn off and leave no lasting effect.  Most artist will then apply a gloss or semi-gloss finish.  This is a dangerous process and is especially difficult to do in an artistic way.  Shirley and the guys are truly artists.

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