Below are some frequently asked questions about raku and horse hair pottery. If you have a question that is not answer below, please use our contact us page to answer your question.


What is Raku?

Raku is a ceramic firing technique that originated around the 16th in either Korea or Japan. It’s origins are controversial. In the 1960’s American artists modified the original techniques used by the raku masters of Japan and created what we know as modern raku. For a more in depth explanation please see our Raku page.

What is horse hair pottery?

Horse hair pottery is a ceramic decorating techniques that uses the real hair from a horses mane or tail. It is rumored that this technique was originated by the Native Americans in the southwest. Please see our Horse Hair Pottery page for a more in depth explanation of horse hair pottery.

Can i put water in my raku or horse hair vase?

The answer to this is yes and no. It totally depends on that particular vase. Most raku and horse hair vases are not sealed on the inside and it is not a good idea to keep water in them for long periods of time. Unsealed vases will soak up the water which will weaken the ceramic material that the vase is made of. Some of our raku vases are glazed on the inside as well as the outside. These vases are water safe. If you are unsure if your vase is water safe, please use our Contact Us page to ask us. We do offer a solution for you to seal your vase on our Horse Hair Pottery page or for a small fee we can seal a vase for you before you purchase it.

raku and horse hair pottery seem expensive, why is that?

Typically, most artists price their raku and horse hair pottery on the high side. One of the major reasons for this is because of the high breakage rate and plain and simple the difficulty of getting good results with raku. The thermal shock on the ceramic vessel using these techniques is very high. The ceramic piece is pulled from the kiln at anywhere from 1300-1800 degrees Fahrenheit. This thermal shock can cause the piece to crack on the low side or to almost explode on the high side. Raku has been described as one of the most difficult ceramic firing techniques that there is. In fact, it is so difficult to master that most artists that try this technique give up. We have spent years of hair pulling and cussing trying to master this very difficult art.We feel that we have mastered several glazes and techniques and are on the verge of mastering more. For more insight on our philosophy of raku please see our About Us page.

will raku pottery lose it’s color over time?

Though many raku artists out there are using glazes that will fade with time, we have made a point of only using glaze formulations that will never fade with time. We have, and our family has vases that were fired 8 years ago that have the same color as the day they were created. It is easy to get great color from a copper matt glaze that is unbalanced and full of copper, but these types of glazes will turn a tarnished penny color over time. You will never have to worry about fading colors with Madstone Raku. We guarantee it!

how do i clean my raku or horse hair pottery?

We recommend cleaning it with a dust cloth if it gets dusty. This should work great for horse hair pottery. If your raku vase is textured (rough texture) we recommend rinsing it off with water as a dust cloth might not be able to get into the crevasses of the texture. Please be aware that the water will temporarily dull the colors a bit but they will return when the raku vessel completely dries.