Not sure I mentioned it earlier, but I was wrangled into becoming the president of the local chapter of the Archaeological Society of Alberta. Along with my second in command, we have been trying to create more diverse events, as well as ways to engage a younger audience.
This spring we also held our first ever pottery workshop at the CASA (local arts center in Lethbridge). Sheila Macdonald, a potter whose MA thesis focused on pottery traditions and techniques in the archaeological record, came down to lead the workshop.
Sheila walked us through the different styles of construction and decoration and then gave us lumps of recycled clay to give it a try ourselves. Honestly, I’m not sure I would have succeeded as a potter, not sure I had very much skill at it – everything always ended up the same, unintentionally flared shape.
We started with little pinch pots and worked up to larger, built-up pieces that needed a bit of structural support – we used bowls but traditionally they likely would have dug a small hole in the ground.
It was a nice intimate group, loads of fun and gave us all a much more respectful view of just what went into making some of the ‘crummy’ pottery in Alberta.