Handmade and Traditional
Southwest pottery has been in existence for probably 1,600 years. Early on, pottery ware was used for cooking and storing. Over the years it has evolved into an art form. Each of the Pueblos (or villages) in New Mexico and the Hopi in Arizona, as well as Navajo and others, have their own look, designs and shapes.
It is fascinating to note that pottery is made by the “pinch and coil” method. Clay is found in special places near each village, ground up pot shards are added for the temper, so that pieces won’t break during the firing. Once the piece takes shape, polishing is done with shells, and finally with handed down stones to give it that shine. If the style is not a polished finish, vegetal paints are used for the designs. The firing itself is “primitive,” done out doors, and not in a kiln. The vessels are placed on open grates, on the ground, with pieces of wood stacked up around, and with dried sheep and /or horse manure placed on top. In general, Pueblo firing lasts about 3 hours, and an approximate temperature of 1400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Come explore the various styles of pottery we have at the store and learn more about these fascinating pieces of art!
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