In 2003 an informal group of archeologists, potters, replicators and just people interested in the processes and materials used to create ancient pottery of the Southwest met in Old Leupp Arizona for what became the first gathering of the Southwest Kiln Conference. This event has been held nearly every year since then at various sites in the American Southwest. Our group invites previous participants as well as new artists and others with an interest in prehistoric pottery to bring pieces to this event and fire them using a range of firing methods and fuels which include trench, pit and surface kilns.
In 2015 the conference will be held in at Eastern Arizona College’s Discovery Park Campus in Safford Arizona on October 16 – 18. There will be a tour of some archaeological sites on Thursday afternoon, then the conference gets going in earnest on Friday when presentations on pottery technology and archaeology will take place. On Friday night there will be a beginners pottery workshop which will give those just learning a chance to make a pot which can then be fired on Sunday. Saturday morning will be dedicated to various demonstrations of pottery making and decorating techniques, these will be organized to display a wide range of technologies from across the Southwest, then Saturday afternoon the pit firings will get started and our barbecue will take place on Saturday evening. The oxidation firings will take place on early Sunday morning, then later all firings will be opened and the results examined, followed by a field trip to collect some local clays to wrap up the conference.
We hope to have a large group of potters, archaeologists, and other people interested in Southwestern pottery in attendance. There will be something for everyone and we will all learn from each other no matter our experience level.