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Join the travels of Bernie Harberts at RiverEarth.com. The "Lost Sea Expedition" is Bernie's voyage in a mule wagon through the center of the USA - across what was millions of years ago a sea.

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   Saturday, March 04, 2006  
Mule Hair Raku - Bayboro, NC

"Where do we sleep tonight?"

That's Question Number One every time I strike out on a mule or a boat.

From Oriental Jack and Bill and I struck off toward Bayboro. 22,696 steps later we pulled up in front of a massive anchor on the Bayboro waterfront.

Bill: "I don't have another step in me."
Jack: "I know. Feels like we've done our twenty-thousand for the day. Let's anchor here tonight..." - Bayboro, NC

Norm Czuchra and Candace Young of Bay River Pottery lived just down the street and put us up for the night. And so the question of lodging was answered...

For almost thirty years now, Norm and Candace have produced their pottery along the banks of the Bay River. Norm showed me the new kiln he was building and the next morning Candace asked if I wanted to make a contribution to her pottery.

"Do you want to leave me with some mule hair?" she asked.

"Mule hair?" I wondered. "What in God's little green earth would mule locks be good for?"

'turns out Candace used it for her raku pottery. In raku, horse hair, or any other hair for that matter, was used during the firing process to create intricate patterns on the pottery.

Candace posing with Bill, her next mule hair donor

Mule tail and raku: before and after.

Candace brought me a roll of duct tape, wrapped a strand of it around Bill's tail as a label, and cut the strands.


I had to leave before Norm and Candace had a chance to fire their next batch of mule hair raku. But I sure look forward to the result.

Candace applying horse hair to her latest batch of raku pottery.

The end result

Thanks Candace and Norm!


(For anyone interested in great pottery (and learning more about Norm's Bayboro Folly, visit)
posted by Bernie at 9:11 PM

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