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Acoma Pottery Craft

Acoma Pottery Craft Activity

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Create a beautiful piece of pottery by hand using a few simple ingredients, and learn about the Native American Acoma tribe while doing it! Lucy M. Lewis was a potter who crafted storage jars, bowls, water jars, and tiny seed jars with fine-line geometric designs. So whip up an easy batch of cornstarch clay, and see what your child will be inspired to create.

What You Need:

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Tempera paint in black and white
  • Thin, round brushes
  • Large spoon

What You Do:

  1. Have your child mix together the cornstarch, baking soda and water in a saucepan until they are well-combined.
  2. Help your child cook the mixture on a stove over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the texture resembles mashed potatoes. Then remove from the stove and let cool completely.
  3. Show your child how to knead the clay on a flat work surface, adding more cornstarch if necessary to bring the clay together.
  4. Now your child can form the clay into a ball and then push her thumbs into the center to create a hole.
  5. Use a pinching technique to build up the sides of the pot by stretching it to an even thickness.
  6. She can insert a large spoon into the pot and push it from the inside out, to create a gourd shape.
  7. Continue shaping the pot so the opening is about the same size as the bottom. The pot should have a rounded look.
  8. Once your child is finished shaping the pot, bake it in a 250 degree oven for about 25 minutes, until it's hard.
  9. Cool the pot completely, and then paint it white.
  10. Next, your child can add simple, repetitive designs with black paint. Thin black lines on top of a white background is the characteristic style of Lewis' pots.

Once dry, the Acoma pot is ready to display!

Updated on Feb 14, 2012
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