#618 Horsehair Nativity

Acquired 2012

I saw this stunning nativity at the Hughson Craft Fair on November 16, 2012. It would appear to be any normal ceramic fired pottery set - but it had a beautiful brown streaked lining in the pieces that caught my attention. As I inquired about the set, I learned that the brown streaking is from horsehair!!! I bought the large 17-piece set at a very reasonable price of $45. But, most interesting, was to learn the process.A couple of weeks later, I met the creator, Suszanne Jameson, from Suszanne's Ceramics, in Ceres. She explained that after each piece is bisque fired, it is put back into the kiln, bringing the temperature to 1,000 degrees! Then the piece is quickly taken out of the kiln and real horsehair is applied to the piece. The hair immediately melts into the piece. It is cooled, cleaned of residue, and then sealed with a spray. She said she has a couple of friends locally with horse ranches. As the horses are brushed and trimmed, the hair is saved for Suszanne. Suszanne had some of the horsehair with her and gave me a couple of strands to include with this documentation.