Melvin E. Juanico
Traditional Acoma Pottery - "Starburst Rain"
Pueblo of Acoma
PAL N 244
Traditional Acoma Pottery are all made from natural earth ingredients to include the clay, old broken pottery shards, white earth slip, color pigments - yellow and brown. Both the clay and pottery shards are broken down and grinded using the old traditional grinding stones. They are then sifted to a very fine powdered substance before mixing with water to make the block of clay to form the pottery. Once the traditional pottery have been shaped and formed to satisfaction, they are set out to dry. Once thoroughly dried, the raw pots are hand polished with the white earth slip using smooth shiny stones. The pottery are then hand designed with the natural yucca brush. The yellow paint comes from a sandstone dirt that is strained through a fine cloth. The traditional brown paint comes from stones found in dry river beds on the Acoma Reservation. The final process is the firing of the raw pottery. We kiln fire today for a more secured heat setting and for a quality product in the end.