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Preserving archaeology and culture for our future

Traditional Pottery Making Workshop

Discover how the ancient cultures of the Southwest made pottery for over two thousand years through one of Old Pueblo’s pottery workshops. Participants will start by learning the history of ceramics in the Southwest and the cultures that produced them, then get started making their own pottery with the traditional techniques used by the Anasazi, Mogollon and Hohokam cultures centuries ago. Instead of modern potters’ wheels, molds, and paints, students will use gourd scrapers, yucca brushes, native clay and mineral paints, the ancient tools that are still used by many Native American tribes around the Southwest to produce beautiful pottery.


Some of the activities you may perform at one of Old Pueblo Archaeology’s traditional pottery making workshops are:

  • Taking a field trip to dig your own clay from the earth
  • Processing native clay into a usable medium
  • Forming, shaping & smoothing your own pottery vessel
  • Scraping, sanding, slipping & burnishing your pottery
  • Processing native mineral and plant materials into tools, paints and slips
  • Producing pottery using both the “coil and scrape” and “paddle and anvil” methods
  • Painting your pottery with traditional designs using native mineral and vegetal paints
  • Firing your finished pottery in an open fire using mesquite wood or dung fuel

Many traditional Southwestern pottery types can be made, including:

  • Bowls
  • Pots & Ollas
  • Seed jars
  • Canteens
  • Corrugated ware
  • Ladles
  • Rattles
  • Effigy vessels
  • More!


All equipment is provided. Children age 9 to 16 may take the pottery class if a parent enrolls with them. Maximum enrollment is 15 persons/class. Advanced registration is required. A new class will be starting soon. See our Upcoming Activities page for class dates. Registration deadline 48 hours before the class starts. To register call (520) 798-1201


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