When we were in Albuquerque, New Mexico, we got to visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. What a treat! They have more than 2,500 pieces of pottery, jewelry, textiles, baskets, and other archaeological artifacts to explore. After seeing the different Pueblo pottery, my daughter really wanted to try to make these striking, geometrical patterns at home. Together we planned out this pottery project for kids.
First, we looked at this wonderful chart that explains the differences between the pottery made by the Acoma, Hopi, Jemez, Navajo, Zuni, and others.
Next we looked at google images of Pueblo pottery: so inspiring!
To make our pottery, we used Pottery Cool, which you can purchase here. What I love about this pottery kit is that it is real pottery that your kids can actually do themselves. Your little artists can explore their creative side while they learn about pueblo pottery from the American Indians in New Mexico.
The instructions are very clear. First, place your clay on the rubber mold on the turntable. Ours was cracking a bit, so it really helps if you spray it with water and kind of smooth out the clay. Gravity sort of pulls the clay down as it spins, but it takes more shape when you use your hands.
Once it’s in the desired shape, you can leave it to air dry at room temperature for a couple of days. Now the creativity really begins: it’s time to paint it! When we looked at the Pueblo pottery, we saw some common motifs:
- geometric shapes
- butterflies, dragonflies
- thin/fine lines
- floral designs
- animal designs
We used the paints that came in the kit, in the colors that are typical of the Pueblo pottery (black, red/terra cotta, gold/orange) and we painted with both paintbrushes and toothpicks. Didn’t they turn out so nicely? What a fun little project!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.