Primitive Pottery Virtual Workshop

Primitive Pottery Virtual Workshop

When:January 29, 30, 31 & optional firing February 6
Where:This is a remote, ZOOM based workshop
Instructor:Andy Ward
Student limit:10
Student level:Any skill level
Age limit:18+

This is the ZOOM version of my usual intensive 5 day pottery workshop. We will go over the whole process of creating pottery just like the ancient potters of Arizona. This workshop will cover coil building pottery, slipping, painting and decorating pottery and will culminate in an outdoor pottery firing. Learn how to make authentic replicas of ancient Arizona pottery in your own home.

students pottery drying

Class Includes

  • A pottery making toolkit that you can keep, one gourd rib, one polishing stone, one puki and yucca brush. ($55 value)
  • All materials, lump of clay and red paint ($50 value)
  • One year full access to all online pottery classes on ($105 value)
  • 3 hours of ZOOM class time per day (9:00 – 12:00) plus one-on-one time with the instructor in the afternoon if you need extra help.
  • Pottery firing that you can attend in person or virtually. Pots can be mailed in for firing or you can do it yourself after watching the class firing.




Skills Taught

  • Coil-building pottery
  • Decorating pottery with natural clays, minerals and paints.
  • Stone polishing pottery
  • Painting traditional designs using brushes made from yucca leaves
  • Firing pottery in an outdoor, open wood fire

Class Schedule

Lecture, “The History and Process of Coil Building in the Ancient Southwest”. Demonstration of coil pottery making. Practice, begin building your pot.

Lecture, “The Evolution of Pottery Decoration”. Demonstration of scraping and smoothing pot. Practice scraping and smoothing your pot or finishing forming if necessary.

Lecture, “Principles of Open Pottery Firing”. Demonstration, stone polishing pottery and yucca brush painting. Practice polishing and painting your pot.

Following Saturday
Those of us who are able and live nearby will meet at a predetermined location to fire our pottery in an outdoor, open firing. Others may choose to either mail their pot to the instructor for firing or watch the firing via ZOOM and try it themselves at a later time.


Cost is $270, a $100 deposit will hold your place. Sign up soon because space is very limited.

What You Need

  • A clean working area.
  • A piece of plywood or other non-stick work surface.
  • A bowl to put water in.
  • A device with ZOOM software and an internet connection.
  • A mailing address to receive tools and materials package.

About the Instructor

Andy Ward began reproducing prehistoric pottery in high school, now more than 30 years later he teaches pottery workshops throughout Arizona and New Mexico. The focus of Andy’s pottery is on polychrome pottery types of the prehistoric Salado and Mogollon people. He has taught prehistoric pottery workshops for the Silver City Clay Festival, Archaeology Southwest Preservation Archaeology Field School and Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, among others.


“As a former ceramics major in college married to an anthropologist, I found your class enlightening as well as very fun… My experience of local pottery has been so enriched by the experience of your class. Keep up the good work!!”
Carol D. Tucson, AZ

“Not only is Andy Ward an excellent potter, he is also an excellent teacher. His workshops on recreating ancient Native American pottery of the Southwest are superb. Participants experience the full range of pottery production from processing clay gathered from natural sources to forming the vessels, decorating them, and firing them. He teaches the practices of ancient potters, using the same tools they used. I have taken two workshops with Andy and plan to take others when the opportunity arises. It is more than a worthwhile experience.”
Sharon M. Tucson, AZ

“Andy’s class was one of the most fun and educational classes I’ve ever taken. I learned a lot about the history and different types of pre-historic pottery made in Arizona, the various methods used to form, finish and fire the pots, and was able to practice what I learned and make a pot of my own! And Andy is as kind as he is knowledgeable. I am not an “artsy” type and Andy was very patient with me. His encouragement, enthusiasm and love of traditional Southwest pottery-making is contagious. Everyone is the class was thrilled that they took it!”
Roberta G. Tucson, AZ

Questions & Comments

If you have questions before you can commit to this workshop feel free to contact Andy using the contact form on this website.

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.

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