Customary Pueblo Pottery is completely and entirely handmade. This handmade process includes choosing and sifting the clay, production of the natural dyes and creation of the yucca brushes as well as making the slip to finish the Pueblo pottery.
Pueblo Indian Pottery makers use clay that they collect themselves and the clay is usually collected from sacred tribal land.
Commercially Made Pueblo Pottery
Pueblo Indian Pottery makers sift and clean the clay. This is a process they have continued in doing for centuries. From time to time, today Indian potters use commercial, ceramic molds (also called a cast or slip-cast or green ware) to save time and work.
However, there are still Pueblo pottery makers who refuse to use green ware or commercial purposes to create their Pueblo pottery. These pottery makers believe that green ware should be bought only for decorative purposes because the possibility of green ware rising in value is slim to none.
The Ancient Pueblo Pottery Process
The ancient Pueblo pottery process consist of the creation coiled pottery and begins with the artist collecting clay, plants, minerals, and remains of broken pottery from the reservation.
The clay is then purified and soaked to make it malleable. Paints, dyes and brushes are also created from local plants.
In the most honored and revered pueblo pottery, old pottery remains are ground down and combined with the clay.
The remains act as a temper or grout and aid in preventing the newly formed pot from shrinking or cracking during the drying process. In addition, old pottery remnants present an essential spiritual correlation to the past.
The clay is then rolled and curved to form the new pot. After the pot is shaped, a slip (a fine sand or clay blended mixture) is applied to t he new pot. At this point in the process, the pot is polished, painted and set ablaze (fired).
Some Pueblo pottery makers fire in kilns while others use traditional, outside adobe ovens. Pueblo Indian hand-coiled pottery is quite a beautiful collectible piece of art and often increases in value over time.
Older examples of pueblo pottery are frequently found in major auctions. Authentic handmade Pueblo pottery can also be found online at online Native American specialty stores that sell authentic handmade Pueblo pottery.
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