In Mimbres Painted Pottery, students will experience identifying, digging and processing naturally occurring clays from the New Mexico landscape. Gather clay from Ghost Ranch Property, refine the clay to make it suitable for use, and form it into finished products of beauty and individual expressiveness. Using the traditional coiling technique, students will create pottery forms, then embellish the forms with painted slip designs. This workshop incorporates inspiration from the painted pottery tradition of New Mexico’s ancient Mimbres culture. The pre-historic Mimbres culture, located in southern New Mexico, is regarded widely for the unique character of its tradition of painted pottery.
The Mimbres people were the antecedents of modern Pueblo people, and their pottery traditions bear similarities. Archaeological work has revealed an astonishing array of Mimbres pictoral art, recorded for posterity in the form of painting on pottery. Their predominate pottery forms were round bowls. The paintings on the interiors of their bowls ranged from depiction of humans and animals, to inventive anthropomorphic/zoomorphic hybrids, to dazzling abstract, geometric designs. Students will paint designs informed by the Mimbres’ linear black-on-white painting style – creating abstract geometric designs and linear figures using a similar visual vocabulary of shapes and lines to create their own interpretations. At the workshop’s end, students will take away unique, finished products, highlighting their own creativity. Students will also deepen their understanding and appreciation for the origins of the raw materials, the technical processes, and the specific cultural influences incorporated. This workshop will appeal to inquisitive students with interests in the fields of art, ceramics, geology or archaeology. All levels of experience are welcome. Supplies are provided.