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Come have a beer and get some art.

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Creating a Surface

When making horse hair raku pottery the piece has to be made very smooth when it’s thrown.  After it is almost completely dry I apply tera sigillata with a nice, soft, large paint brush then burnish to a nice sheen.  Even though it’s a little time consuming I enjoy this process.  I find something meditative about the burnishing process and I’ve noticed that the tera sig’ is really pretty forgiving if it’s not applied 100% evenly, as long as I have a few layers and have burnished between coats.

Applying the Tera Sig’

I also love the look of the surface when I’m in the process of burnishing the piece.  I think it looks very fresh with the shiny surface. That’s not the way we normally see pots that are ready to be fired.  Normally they are very dry and chalky.

This is the base to a lamp that I’m making for a customer. I enjoy making the lamps.  Since most of my pots are functional it feels right to combine the techniques that are normally associated with decorative pottery and make them into something functional.

Other Stuff:

Charlie Rigg’s Tera Sig’ Recipe

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff


  1. VERY old fashioned technique, can't wait to see it done!

    1. Yes Gary, although I guess lots of stuff in pottery is a very old technique. I’ll try to take pics when it’s complete.

  2. what do you burnish the pot with ? hope you post the finished lamp.

    1. I use a plastic grocery bag and a lot of patience.

  3. I love to read about and see photos of processes that I don't do. Like Linda, I was also wondering what you used to burnish. I know that some people use a piece of an old t-shirt.

    1. It gets some burnishing on my t-shirt as I’m carrying it to the kiln, does that count?


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