Lois Hirshberg

Ms. Hirshberg’s art training includes Mudflat Pottery, Radcliff Pottery, Penland School of Crafts, and Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. She has also studied in Japan with Parsons School of Design.

She is a member of Cape Cod Potters and has shown her work at galleries and museums nationally and internationally for more than 40 years. “I have been greatly influenced by the Japanese sense of design-simplicity”

Her pottery studio is located on Cape Cod and she currently teaches pottery at Truro Center for the Arts and Featherstone Center for the Arts.

She holds a B.A. in Sociology from New York University, an M.Ed in Mental Health Counseling from Northeastern University, and an M.A., in Art Therapy from Lesley University.

Horsehair Raku Ceramics

Horsehair Raku: These vessels are handbuilt from slabs of clay and then raku fired: an ancient art of firing pottery developed by the Japanese.

Pots are placed into the hot kiln and, at precisely the moment the glaze mels, are removed with large tongs and placed into trash cans filled with newspaper, sawdust, or wood chips. It is during this final smoking stage that the subtle colors and shadings of the clay and the crackling of the glaze emerge.

Since the kiln temperature is less than 2000 degrees – the pieces remain somewhat porous and may not hold water and may sweat.

 

Obvara Ceramics

Obvara: Obvara firing is an ancient traditonal Russian and Eastern European technique dating back 500 years. The pots are first heated in the kiln to a temperature of around 1650 degrees F. Then, like Raku firing, they are removed from the kiln and plunged immediately into a vat of “mash”, (fermented flour, sugar and water), for just a few seconds. Then they are plunged into a second vat of cold water which stops the carbonization and cools the pots. No two pots are alike. 

Since the kiln temperature is less than 2000 degrees – the pieces are porous and may not hold water. 

 

Saggar Fired Ceramics

Saggar Firing: This cermaic piece is handbuilt from slabs of clay and then fired in a container called saggar. Traditionally, Chinese potters used clay for their saggars. I use tin foil. 

Pots are placed in the tin foil with combustible materials and slowly fired until the tin foil turns to ash. Saggars are used to that the fumes from the combustible materials (sawdust, wood chips, banana peels, coffee grinds, etc) as they burn create interesting colors and patterns on the clay pot without using glaze. 

Since the kiln is fired to a low temperature – the pieces are porous and may not hold water.