Calendar of Events

Prehistoric salado Pottery Workshop

Organised by
Andy Ward (US)

When: March 13 – 17, 2019
Where: Mesa Grande Cultural Park, Mesa, Arizona
Instructor: Andy Ward
Cost: $385
Limit: 12 students
Includes: All materials, lunch each day, field trip to dig clay, guided tours of prehistoric ruins, field trip to see other nearby ruins.

This intensive five day pottery workshop will immerse you in the ancient world of the prehistoric people who lived in Central Arizona in the fourteenth century and the beautiful pottery that they made. Participants of this workshop will explore how these people lived and worked, examining ruins and artifacts, digging and process native clay, minerals and other raw materials and making pottery authentic to the ancient traditions.


  • Forming pottery using the coil-and-scrape technique
  • Slipping and painting pottery using native clay slips, mineral and organic 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 wood fire


  • WEDNESDAY: Process native clay then form one bowl and one small jar using the coil and scrape method

  • THURSDAY: Scrape & smooth pots, tour the pottery collection at the Arizona Museum of Natural History while the pottery dries some then come back to slip and polish pottery.

  • FRIDAY: Finish polishing pots then paint designs on pottery using organic paint with yucca leaf brushes.

  • SATURDAY: While pottery dries take field trip to collect clay near the Gila River and tour Casa Grande Ruins National Monument?

  • SUNDAY: Fire pottery in the morning. Class should wrap up around noon.

One of two Hohokam “great mounds” in the Salt River Valley, the Mesa Grande mound was a dramatic symbol of the power of this ancient community. The village surrounding the mound once covered over one-half square mile and was home to perhaps two thousand Hohokam. Situated near the headgates of one of the two largest networks of irrigation canals created in the prehistoric New World, the site of Mesa Grande controlled over 27,000 acres of highly productive farmland. The City of Mesa purchased the Mesa Grande ruins in the 1980s to preserve Mesa’s premier cultural treasure and to open it to the public as an educational and recreational facility. Visit the Mesa Grande web page.

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 pottery types of the prehistoric Salado and Mogollon people. 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.

Participation is limited to 12 individuals so registering early will hold your place, a $150 deposit is required. Fill out and submit the form below, then I will contact you with further information including how to pay the deposit.