Coil Pottery Making 101

Coil Pottery Making 101

The foundation of ancient pottery making in the Anasazi or Mogollon traditions of the southwestern United States is the coil method. In this course we will briefly look at the history and traditions of coil pottery then we will jump right in hand building pots with the coil method. All of the techniques and secrets of coil pottery making are discussed while demonstrating how it is done with over two hours of up-close video of pottery being made, all broken down into bite-size lessons of 15 minutes or less. Students have the ability to submit photos of their work and get direct feedback from the instructor. This course will give you the skills and techniques to hand-build pottery in the manner of the prehistoric people of the Southwest, and an attractive certificate to prove it!

Coil Pottery Video Trailer

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making a coil pot

You Will Learn:

What tools are used to create coil pottery.

How to preform the different pinches required to form pottery with coils.

What different methods exist for forming the base of a coil pot.

How can the walls of a coil pot be smoothed to be ready for polishing or painting designs.

Plus, get support from an expert as you learn. The author of this course, Andy Ward will provide personalized help and answer your questions as you progress through the Coil Pottery Making course.

coil pot being formed

Course Objectives

  • Learn about the cultural history of the coil pottery method in the American Southwest.
  • Become familiar with the standard tools used to create pottery using coil and scrape.
  • Master the various pinches and scraping techniques used to form pottery.
  • Identify two common methods to start a coil and scrape vessel.
  • Practice forming a vessel with these methods and get instructor feedback.
  • Learn the methods for smoothing the vessel walls after coiling.

After finishing this course you should have a good understanding of the coil method of hand-building pottery and be ready to make progress building vessels on your own using this method.

Take this Course

I've been making primitive pottery since I was a teenager in the 80's. My work focuses on reproducing the polychrome pottery styles made in the American Southwest during thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. I have taught workshops and lectured at venues all over the Southwest. When I was learning to make pottery it was very hard to find the information I needed, so I created this website to make the technology of southwest pottery readily available to all.