Andy Ward
traditional SW pottery

Q Ranch Pueblo Pottery Workshop – Oct. 2016

This class is over, sign up for my pottery workshop mailing list to be notified of future classes.

When: October 1 – 4, 2016
Where: Q Ranch, Young, AZ
Includes: All meals, lodging and 4 days of instruction in prehistoric pottery making and all materials


A student hand building pottery

This intensive four-day pottery workshop will focus on recreating the beautiful polychrome pottery made by the ancient people at Q Ranch Pueblo. The prehistoric pueblo potters of Arizona’s mountains produced some of the finest decorated pottery in the Southwest. Participants of this workshop will explore how these people lived and worked, examining ruins and artifacts they left behind, collecting clay, minerals and other raw materials and making pottery authentic to the ancient traditions.

Technologies Covered

  • Forming pottery using the coil-and-scrape technique
  • Slipping and painting pottery using native clay slips, mineral and organic paints • Stone polishing pottery
  • Painting traditional designs with yucca leaf brushes
  • Firing the pottery in an outdoor, open, juniper wood fire

Pottery Workshop Schedule

  • gila

    Replica Gila Polychrome pot

    Friday: Arrive at Q Ranch in the afternoon. Meet your instructor and fellow workshop participants. Explore the ranch. Cocktails and dinner on the patio, followed by stargazing.

  • Saturday: Collect & process native clay then form one bowl and one small jar using the coil and scrape method.
  • Sunday: Scrape & smooth pots, tour Q Ranch Pueblo while the pottery dries some then slip and polish pottery.
  • Monday: Paint designs on pottery using authentic mineral and organic paint with yucca leaf brushes.
  • Tuesday: Fire pottery in the morning. Class should wrap up before noon.

About the Instructor


Andy Ward firing pottery

Andy Ward began reproducing prehistoric pottery in high school. Now, after more than 25 years, he teaches pottery workshops throughout Arizona and New Mexico. The focus of Andy’s pottery is on polychrome styles native to Southeast Arizona, Salado polychromes, Maverick Mountain series and Babocomari Polychrome. 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.

About Q Ranch

The “Q” is a private ranch nestled in a Ponderosa pine and oak valley, surrounded by Tonto National Forest. It is located in Gila County, below the Mogollon Rim at an elevation of 5400-6200 feet. From 900 to 1400 AD, the area was the site of a thriving Native American pueblo culture. This civilization built what is known as the Q Ranch Pueblo, a 220- room, apartment-like dwelling of sandstone masonry — the third largest of its kind. In 1893, Col. Jesse Ellison started a cattle ranch on the site and his wife’s brand, the letter Q, gave the ranch its name. Hand-cut log buildings from the 1890s still exist. This area is also known for the infamous Pleasant Valley War, the longest and bloodiest feud in U.S. history. Access only via unpaved roads has left a rich habitat with abundant wildlife, pristine vegetation and dark night skies that afford naked-eye viewing of the Milky Way and a host of celestial orbs.

The ranch house has six upstairs bedrooms, one downstairs bedroom and four shared
baths. The downstairs bedroom has a California king that can be separated into two twins. Upstairs, there is a queen in one room, a double in one room, and two twin beds each in the remaining rooms. Pets are not permitted.

A night’s stay at the lodge includes dinner the day of your arrival, and breakfast
and lunch (brunch on Sundays) the next day. The Q has a reputation for fine dining. Reasonable effort is made to accommodate guests’ dietary needs, but we are not able to serve vegan, gluten-free or lactose-free meals. Meals are family style; diners do not select from a menu.

Driving directions to the ranch can be downloaded from the Q Ranch website, Click the link at the right that says “How to Get Here.”

Note: Q Ranch is off the grid. Generators provide electricity. Water comes from wells. There is no TV or phone. The ranch is a cell phone dead zone. The nearest signal, depending on the provider, is 2-12 miles. There is satellite wi-fi. Due to limited bandwidth, guests using laptops, smartphones or tablets are asked to confine their use to email only. Transfer of photos and videos quickly exhausts the data limit, causing the system to shut down for 24 hours. There is no air-conditioning; daytime temps rarely reach discomfort levels and nights are always cool.


Registration includes all meals, four nights lodging, the pottery class and all materials.

Private Room $995
Shared Room $795

Register online at (click “Reservations & Deposits) or by completing and returning the reservation form. Reservations require a $100 deposit, with the remainder due on or before arrival. The Q happily accepts personal checks made out to Q Ranch Lodge, cash, or credit cards (you must register online to use a credit card). Deposits will be refunded for cancellations made 15 days in advance, minus a $25 processing fee.


“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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