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Question
I have been looking for a natvie american horse hair wedding vase for some time now and can only find ones that have not been glazed or sealed on the inside. Is there anything I can put on the inside of the the vase to make it use?
Thanks for you time!

Answer
Dear Kat,

    Thank you for your recent question. Native American horse hair wedding vases are usually, but not always, made from earthenware. The purpose of the wedding vase is to represent the sealing of marriage by drinking from the vase a mixture made by the tribes medicine man. The inside is left unglazed and unsealed as a traditional method of design. Drinking from the vase during the ceremony will not hurt those who consume from it. And because it is only used once for the ceremony, there is no risk of consuming anything from the clay. Even if it were used more than once, the clay body itself poses no threat.

    However, after use, if it is to be used again, the ware should be filled with boiling hot water to assure the ware is cleaned before storage.

    On older wedding vases, made prior to 1990, I would be more concerned with any glaze on the outside drinking area of the vase as many glazes made before 1990 contained lead. If you have a newer vase, I suggest that you leave the vase unglazed on the inside and unsealed as part of the traditional decorative aspects and to prevent damaging the fired glaze design on the outside of the vase.

    Because the vase contains horsehair decoration, any firing to the pot would cause the carbon left behind by the horse hair to disintegrate. Thus the design would be gone. If you are set on having a wedding vase with a glazed inside, I suggest you contact the artist in which you are going to purchase a vase and ask them to create one with your specifications. Many are glad to do this for a customer.

    I hope this gives you some valuable information and answers your question. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me again at any time. I am always at your service.

Sincerely,
Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat
www.earthstokenfire.com

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Ti Phillips

Expertise

Will answer any questions on hand building, wheel, glaze, firing. Speciality questions to include those in glaze calculation and development, firing techniques. Please do not send questions on identifying pottery. Although I would love to add this to my question topics, I have a retreat to run as well as the studio and volunteering on AllExperts, and therefore do not have the available time to research indentification and marks. Thank you for understanding.

Experience

Experience includes 30 years in pottery design and education. Have taught online and studio classes worldwide for the last 20 years. Own a pottery retreat specializing in firing techniques. Have 12 years solid experience in glaze calculation and formulation as well as problem solving in glaze chemistry. I am the first potter in the United States to have developed a complete package of pottery equipment blueprints for a studio. The blueprints include wheels, kilns, studio furniture, wedgeboards, raku kilns, slab rollers, ball mills and studio tools.

Organizations
Alliance of Pottery Artists Worldwide Association

Publications
Ceramic Industry - PPP Wyndstryder Press - Pottery Journal

Education/Credentials
University of Sciences and Art's of Oklahoma, studied under Professor Jaymes Dudding.

Awards and Honors
Potter of the year with APAWA, various awards for showmanship and design.

Past/Present Clients
Available upon request.

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