A hands-on workshop is coming to Arcosanti, about 75 miles north of Phoenix.
Guests will have the opportunity to learn and participate in an ancient form of firing pottery that uses natural materials and does not require the use of gas or electricity. The two-day program takes place at Arcosanti in Mayer on Saturday, Oct. 7 and Sunday, Oct. 8.
The self-described “urban laboratory” focuses on architecture, sustainability and education since beginning construction in the higher-elevation Arizona desert in 1970.
During the experience, guests will select a small pre-made (bisque) clay vessel to decorate with various colorants and learn the process of burnishing surfaces on leather hard clay. Then the firing process begins, which lasts several hours until the pit is covered and left overnight.
That evening, participants will join a potluck-style dinner followed by a short presentation of the history of pit firing and its significance in the indigenous communities of the Southwest as well as land stewardship. Overnight accommodations at Arcosanti can be reserved or guests may camp on site.
The next morning begins with a nature hike followed by brunch in the Arcosanti Café. During the hike, guests will collect a burnishing stone to take for their future work. By afternoon, the pit should be cooled enough to unload.
During this process discussion begins on how to finish the vessels with waxing or leaving them as is. At the end of the program, guests will take home their decorated, burnished and fired vessel.
Cost is $325 (lunch and brunch included). Camping is $15. Guests can reserve a room at Arcosanti via arcosanti.org/stay/guest-rooms/.
Visit arcosanti.org/workshops for information.