Pottery Workshop

Canyon of the Ancients Guest Ranch, Cortez, CO

August 26-30, 2019

 

Designed to offer students extensive, hands on experience in the craft of ancient pottery replication.  Participants will make two Pueblo III Black-on-White pieces (a mug and a bowl) of the type found in the Four Corners region.  All phases of production and processes used in the class are authentic.  All tools and materials are locally sourced and based on those found in the archaeological record. 

 

Instruction includes processing wild clays, the use of hand form construction, slip preparation and levigation, mineral and organic paint making, yucca brush construction, paint application, burnishing, building a trench kiln and participating in a limited oxidation trench kiln firing. Students will also go on a field trip to source and collect clays, slips, temper, yucca and firing fuel as well as explore some of the local ruins and an authentic trench kiln, if time and weather allow.

photo by Dale Richard

General Schedule 

 

Monday - Make and slip both pieces. Build a trench kiln.

Tuesday - Field trip, Raw material transformation & a cold kiln practice firing. 

Wednesday - Burnish and Paint, Guest Speaker

Thursday - The kissing of the flame!  Firing the pots & afternoon field trip

 

Friday - It doesn't get much better than this, opening the kiln & post discussion
 

photo by Dale Richard

What makes this workshop exceptionally unique?

Location

"Experience a true Southwest Colorado vacation at our Canyon of the Ancients Guest Ranch and vacation rentals. Located in the countryside of Cortez, Colorado near Mesa Verde National Park.  Come experience our passion for history, archaeology and the beauty of Southwestern Colorado." 

A cold “mock” firing

In an actual firing two things make instruction detrimental, the extreme heat and the frantic pace at which it all must happen.  A cold firing allows students to place the kiln furniture, optimally load “already fired” pieces according to their size and shape, understand cover sherd placement and set firing fuel to influence and facilitate kiln atmosphere, air flow and temperature acceleration…  Ultimately producing top quality authentic Black-on-White pottery.

The instructor

Cherylene Caver offers unique insights into the local prehistoric pottery, having hiked hundred of miles in the canyons of Southeast, Utah.  She studies pottery sherds in situ looking for evidence that either supports or crushes the currently accepted theory, documents and studies ancient kilns, as well as sources and test unlimited clays and minerals.  All this in an attempt to match and understand pieces in the archaeological record.

CLASS IS FULL!

SEND ME YOUR CONTACT INFO FOR FUTURE EVENTS

Fee: $450           

 Maximum class size of 12.  Includes all tools, materials, field trip(s),

             kiln firing, museum donation, vast amounts of instruction, as well as

Unlimited amounts of fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Class formats and itineraries subject to minor changes, primarily due to weather, most importantly affecting the firing and/or the field trips.  Time required for pottery pieces to reach complete dryness prior to firing is paramount.  Firing is not guaranteed and will not be attempted if area is under fire danger or ban.

 

$150 deposit required upon registration.  Remaining due by August 1, 2019.

No ceramics experience required, just a deep love of ancient pottery and the people who made it.

 

Workshop Testimonials 
 

 

 "Cherylene’s workshop was an incredible experience.  She packed tons of learning and hands-on experience into a few short days, and  gave me  the knowledge  and confidence to get to work on my own.  She covered everything - from locating and processing native clays, to design and hand building, culminating in a  hands-on student firing in a traditional wood-burning kiln with a 100% success rate!  Cherylene has a talent for making group magic, engaging every student and addressing everyone’s  interests,  from the scientific to the spiritual.  Highly recommended!"    

          - C. Dueker, Grand Junciton, Colorado

 

 

"Cherylene's one-week pottery class at the Edge of the Cedars Museum in Blanding Utah, focused on recreating pottery of the early inhabitants found in cliff dwellings in SE Utah. The days were full with classroom explanation, demonstrations, and clay work, guest speakers inside and outside, excursions to ancient people’s sites, kiln-building and firing on Thursday, and uncovering the fired pots on Friday. Cherylene’s comprehensive knowledge of SW pottery comes from her extensive research. She locates and experiments with local clays, does outdoor pit-firings of her own work, and meticulously records the results. She has learned the uses of each clay type including which one makes the best slip. She authentically decorates her pots as the ancient ones did, and has learned how to fire the clays for the best results. Each firing teaches Cherylene more about where to place pots, how to control the fire, and when to smother the fire. It’s as if voices from the past have taught Cherylene how to recreate the pottery of the first people. Her own pots exquisitely recreate pots from 600 to 1000 years ago. When you learn from Cherylene, you learn from a master of the art of ancient pottery techniques."

          -C. Barclay, Olympia, Washington

 

 

"The workshop was already A+++, I haven’t rested up yet but I’m still Hyped up, Awesome class and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in Ancient or Anasazi type pottery replication or Construction, I really don’t know how it could get any better, Thank You again Cherylene !" 

          -D. Smuin, Vernal, Utah

 

 

"This workshop was fabulous ...not only for learning about pottery but also takes place in a beautiful setting. Cherylene was a great teacher and made us all feel welcome!  Thanks so much for all your genuine energy and love. You are an amazing, talented and creative women."  

          -C. Campbell, Midway, Utah

 

 

"What a great workshop. We each made a bowl and a mug but the class was way more than that with a number of side trips to see ruins, prehistoric kilns and to gather wild clay. We had a guest speaker, an expert in Anasazi design whose own pottery was superb. Thank you ever so much Cherylene."  

          -A. Bealle, Lacombe, Louisiana

 

 

"Magically magnificent!"

          - C. Maynard, Longmont, Colorado

 

 

"What a great group. If our leader does another workshop next summer I suspect the whole group would sign up. I know I would in a heartbeat."

          -R. Vaughn, Moab, Utah

 

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