ancient SW mugs

Primitive Pottery Mug Workshop

WhenNovember 10, 11, 12, 2023
WhereFort Lowell Park, Tucson, AZ
InstructorAndy Ward
Student Limit10

Mugs have a long history in the American Southwest. This workshop will take a deep look at the Southwestern earthenware mug, exploring the different forms and native materials used. Ceramic mugs will be formed using the traditional coil and scrape method, and decorated using natural, non-toxic clays and paints. The climax of this workshop will be an outdoor, open pottery firing on the last day. Our mugs will emerge from the fire as beautiful and functional pieces of art, made from the very earth of southern Arizona.

Coil Pottery
Decorate Pottery
Fire Pottery
  • All tools and materials provided
  • No previous experience necessary
  • All students will leave with a finished mug
  • Students can choose between an authentic, porous earthenware mug or sealing with Liquid Quartz.

You Will Learn

  • Coil & scrape pottery making
  • The use of natural clay slips and organic paints for decorating
  • Stone polishing pottery
  • Making and painting with yucca leaf brushes
  • Firing pottery in an outdoor, open wood fire

students pottery drying
Student pottery during a break in a workshop

Enroll In This Class

Cost is $320 per person, a $100 deposit is required to hold your spot. Sign up soon because space is limited.

2021 mug workshop participants
Fall 2021 workshop participants with their freshly fired mugs


“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

About The Author

10 thoughts on “Primitive Pottery Mug Workshop”

  1. Hi Andy,

    Are there outside places to stay around your ranch? Do you recommend? I’m very interested in attending but I live in San Diego.

    Thank you,


    1. This workshop is not at a ranch, it is in a city park in the middle of Tucson. There is some public land around Tucson where you could camp but it would be a good drive to the park where the workshop will be held.

      1. Hi Andy
        I am interested in taking one of your courses. I live in Poole, England. I was wondering about dates next year for workshops and if you could send me more information.
        Thank you

        1. Hi Joanna, I have never had a student come from England, that would be great. I usually don’t schedule workshops until at least 6 months out, so next spring’s workshops will probably be scheduled some time before the new year. If you subscribe to my newsletter you will be alerted when new classes get added.

    1. This workshop is taught in central Tucson, a city of over half a million people, so there are numerous hotels, motels, B&B and Air BNB options around. Some may even be within walking distance.

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