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Horsehair Raku Tree: Article or Project

Raku is a special process that involves firing an item and carefully removing it from the kiln while it is still extremely hot. At that point, it is either placed into something flammable or, in this case something flammable is place on it. As the item/s combust and burn, they leave a pattern on the piece and in the glaze. The process creates a unique, one-of-a-kind work of art. Familiarity with the horsehair firing technique is required. Needless to say no two are alike but they are always stunning


Ceramic tree fired to bisque 04
Duncan SY1026 Modern Brass
Horse Hair
Appropriate kiln
Long tongs
Heat safe long gloves
Glaze brush
Option, wiring kit and plastic bulbs

More Details

Using a glaze brush, apply three coats of Duncan glaze, drying well between each coat. Let dry thoroughly

Fire stilted to cone 04 - yes, same cone as the bisque

Fire again, stilted to cone 021 and allow to cool to 900 degrees.

When at 900 degrees, remove tree from the kiln using gloves and long tongs.

Carefully drag and drape horsehair randomly over the tree. Some of the best color comes from dragging 'clumps' of horsehair over piece as well as placing individual hairs. Add as little or as much to achieve effect that is pleasing to you.

After tree has cooled, use a stiff brush and water and scrub it clean to free it of ashes.

If your tree has holes, install your wiring kit and desire plastic bulbs. Suggest clear to enhance the color and design rather than colored pegs/lights.

CME would like to thank Nancy Lambertson for contributing instructions for her project so that others may enjoy making one for themselves. If you have any comments or questions, you may contact Nancy at:


Article/Project Pictures:
Horsehair Raku Tree

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