One of the oldest continuously inhabited Native American dwelling places in the United States, Acoma Pueblo, also known as “Sky City,” is a mysterious and majestic locale. It’s also home to some of the most beautiful pottery in New Mexico. Notable for its polychrome and monochrome designs, Acoma pottery boasts thin walls and beautiful stylistic fluted rims in addition to unique geometric designs. The making of Pueblo pottery is a one-of-a-kind process that is labor-intensive, which is why Palms Trading Company wants to highlight the process of the creation of Acoma pottery for you here.
How Acoma Pottery is Made: A Step-by-Step Process
- Step 1: Collecting Clay
Before beginning the pottery-making process, clay is locally-sourced from Acoma pueblo and then processed and purified, removing any impurities that can affect quality.
- Step 2: Forming the Piece
Unlike more traditional pottery formed on a wheel, Acoma pottery is crafted using the coil method, where a snake of clay is created from the base upwards. Afterward, the piece is smoothed over and sanded.
- Step 3: Decorating
Some of the most common designs include things like parrots, other animals and insects, weather patterns including lightning and rain, which is often depicted in fine lines,, and other representational and geometric designs. The paints used to create the designs on the exterior of the pottery are made from natural minerals and vegetal materials found locally. All of the painting is done by hand during the day since there is no electricity in the Acoma pueblo.
- Step 4: Firing
Acoma pottery is often fired at very high temperatures. At this point, if the clay they collected held any impurities, the pottery can explode, so it’s a truly telling moment for the artisans.
Contact us for more about our one-of-a-kind pottery pieces!
To learn more about our inventory of pottery, Native American jewelry, and more, contact us online today or call 1 (800) 748-1656.
In addition to our pottery, we also offer Kachina dolls, stone fetishes, and more unique items that make great gifts or centerpieces.