The potter's process

1   Choose a molded pot

The potter begins by choosing the shape of the molded pot she will use to create a masterpiece. There are hundreds of different possibilities. Some are tall, some are short, some are round and some are slender but all take time and care to make into a unique piece.

2  SMooth the edges using sand paper and sponge

At this point the pot is grey and rough. The potter sands down the rough edges until the surface is perfectly smooth. Then the potter applies one cool, clean coat of water to soak into the pot at a time.

3  choose paint colors

Once the pot is smoothed the water and sponge, the potter chooses the bright colors that fit the pot.

4  paint bands of color as the pot spins

It is now that the potter applies layers of paint in bands around the pot while spinning it on the wheel. Only a very skilled potter can blend colors seamlessly from one to another like a sunset.

5  carve designs into the pot surface

Now the potter uses different tools to create patterns and symbols, each with unique history and meaning. These symbols can mean something as simple as water or something as complex as a family. Many of the symbols are hundreds of years old, found on ancient pottery around the Southwest.

6  Fire the pot

This is the most nerve-wracking point for the potter. if the wrong amount of water is used, it could ruin the pot. If the paint is too thin the pot will be streaked. The pot is brought to the correct high temperature and then left to cool slowly on it's own. After almost 24 hours, the kiln returns to room temperature and the potter is able to open it and unveil the work of art. 

To order your own hand-crafted work of art:

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