Andy Ward
traditional SW pottery

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When: March 21 – 25, 2015
Where: Besh Ba Gowah Archeological Park, Globe, Arizona
Instructor: Andy Ward
Cost: $350
Limit: 12 students
Includes: All materials, lunch each day, field trip to dig clay, guided tour of Besh Ba Gowah ruins, field trip to other nearby ruins.

Southwest Pottery Workshop

Pottery Ready to Paint

This intensive five day pottery workshop will focus on the beautiful pottery made by the Salado culture which lived in Central and Southeast Arizona from 1275 to 1450 AD. This culture is closely related to the Anasazi or Ancestral Pueblo culture and produced some of the finest prehistoric examples of decorated pottery in Arizona before they mysteriously vanished around 1450 AD. In this workshop we will look at examples of prehistoric Salado pottery, then recreate those pieces using authentic tools and materials, we will explore the mysteries of the Salado culture, examining ruins and artifacts they left behind and talk with experts about how they lived, made pottery and where they went. There will be a field trip to dig native clay, then we will bring it back and process it, then carefully craft Salado style pottery, paint, polish, decorate and finally fire in an outdoor mesquite fire, all done just like the ancient potters.

Technologies Covered:

  • Forming pottery using the coil-and-scrape technique
  • Slipping and painting pottery using native clay slips, mineral and vegetal paints
  • Polishing pots using smooth stones
  • Painting traditional designs using brushes you create yourself from Yucca leaves
  • Firing our pottery in an outdoor, open mesquite fire

Workshop Schedule

Outdoor Pottery Firing

Outdoor Pottery Firing

Saturday: Explore Salado pottery, the history of ceramics in Arizona and begin forming a pot
Sunday: Finish forming pottery and tour of museum and ruins, begin smoothing and polishing pottery
Monday: Finish polishing pottery, lecture on finding and processing native clay and paints then field trip to collect clay
Tuesday: Decorate pottery with yucca brushes, field trip to visit ruins, process native clay
Wednesday: Fire pottery

About the Venue

At Besh Ba Gowah you will see Salado Ruins and what is said to be the largest collection of Salado pottery artifacts in the world. By touring the ruins you can learn about how the ancient Salado civilization survived nearly 800 years ago, there are informative interpretive signs throughout the maze-like village.

More information is available at

Andy Ward Pottery Instructor

Andy Ward Pottery Instructor

About the Instructor

Andy Ward began trying to reproduce the pottery of the prehistoric cultures of Southeast Arizona while still in High School, now more than 25 years later he teaches pottery workshops all around Southern Arizona and he has successfully reproduced most of the pottery styles native to this area.

You can see photos of how he creates pottery and gathers raw materials at

What Former Students Say

“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


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About Andy Ward

I am an independent researcher, writer and artist interested in all things Southwestern. Southeast Arizona is my home and area of primary interest.

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