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Hopi-Tewa Pottery

You will explore the traditional Hopi-Tewa method of creating polychrome pottery, which includes coil building with Hopi gray or yellow clay, sanding, burnishing with riverbed stones, designing and painting pots with natural pigments utilizing handmade paint brushes, and finally firing your pieces in open air kilns using sheep dung as a heating source.

Traditional Hopi-Tewa pottery stems from the unique legacy of its makers, who originated from New Mexico and settled at First Mesa on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. Pieces were originally created for utilitarian purposes and are now coveted bespoke vessels of expression of traditional life on Hopi-Tewa Land.

Your instructor will provide all the hand sourced and prepared materials needed for the production of clay, natural paints and tools from Hopi Land in Arizona. Over the course of the week, you will have time to create up to three small to medium-sized pieces of pottery in this careful examination of the delicate process of Hopi-Tewa pottery making and also learn about the cultural foundation from which the art is inspired.

  • Small portable lamp (clamp is best)
  • Seat cushion

Find the full materials list and schedule here.

Dorothy Ami (Hopi-Tewa) is from the village of Polacca at First Mesa. She began practicing the art of Hopi-Tewa pottery 30 years ago under her cousin and innovator in Hopi pottery, Mark Tahbo. She later went on to win several awards in competitions, including the Museum of Northern Arizona’s Annual Hopi Show, the NAU Road Scholar Program, and other private organizations. Dorothy and her husband Emerson have been featured in many publications, including Talking with Clay in the 21st Century and Hopi Tiles. In 2001, she was featured in the SWAIA Magazine as one of the top 10 artists to see at the Santa Fe Indian Market. Dorothy Ami is also the founder and owner of Smoking Trails Arts & Crafts, specializing in Hopi-Tewa Arts and Crafts.

Facebook: Smoking Trails Arts & Crafts

Generous donors have made scholarships and fellowships for adult workshops available on a limited basis for these specific groups:

1) Native American Community Leaders, Artists, Members, and Teachers
2) Inland Empire Teachers, Professors, and Graduate Students

Scholarships include tuition, dorm housing, and all meals provided by the campus dining service.

Scholarship Details: 

1) Native American Community Members, Leaders, Artists, and Teachers

For adults 19 and older, with current tribal affiliation. The scholarship is designed to bring community leaders, artists, members, and teachers,  to workshops at Idyllwild Arts to benefit both the scholarship

 recipients themselves as well as those in their schools or tribal communities. Applicants with financial need may receive priority. We also offer scholarships for Native American Teens for both the Summer Program and the Academy.

2) Inland Empire Teachers, Professors, and Graduate Students

For teachers and graduate students from the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties and the adjacent areas). This scholarship brings teachers and graduate students to Idyllwild Arts to attend Native American Arts workshops. This is designed to benefit both recipients as well as their students and communities. Applicants with financial need may receive priority. Provided through the generous support of the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians.

Click here for more information about adult scholarships.

Age: 19 years and above

June 14-18, 2021
One-week session
– includes Saturday 6 a.m. firing

Tuition: $755

Lab Fee: $75

Skill Level: All levels

Enrollment is limited to 6 students. (Capacity may increase to 12 pending changes in Health Guidelines from the CDC and local authorities.)

Faculty: Dorothy Ami

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