Wild Clay Workshop

Wild Clay Workshop

WhenOctober 8, 9, 10, 2021
WhereTucson, AZ
InstructorAndy Ward
Student Limit10

This class is taught outdoors and on a screened in porch where the risk of COVID transmission is greatly reduced. The instructor is fully vaccinated.

Clay doesn’t just come from the store, it is all around us. Our ancestors found and utilized wild clay sources for all sorts of things and we can do the same today. This workshop will focus on the native clays of southeast Arizona, teaching how to locate, process and use these clays for building pottery, painting and slipping. This class will include a field trip to identify and collect wild clay on every morning, then we will spend the afternoon in the studio processing clay in various ways.

  • All tools and materials are provided
  • No previous experience is necessary
  • All students will leave with a quantity of processed wild clay, ready to use
  • Class provides invaluable experience looking at clay in its natural state
Students collect native clay from an arroyo bank

You Will Learn

  • How to find and identify clay in nature
  • The best way to test wild clay for suitability
  • How to levigate clay to remove impurities
  • Wet processing clay
  • Dry processing clay

Wild clay being dry processed

Enroll In This Class

Cost is $249 per person, a $100 deposit is required to hold your spot. Sign up soon because space is limited.

Digging clay from the ground


“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

Clay drying in a pillowcase as part of the “wet process” method.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *