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Native American Arts Program

The Idyllwild Arts Summer Program features two dynamic components of the Native American Arts Program:

1) A variety of engaging, hands-on WORKSHOPS designed for adults of all levels of experience and knowledge. Working closely with master artists and cultural specialists, students have the rare opportunity to learn traditional and contemporary Native American art forms and to gain an understanding of the rich cultural foundation which inspires and motivates each artist.

2) The FESTIVAL includes a series of events – exhibits, performances, the Michael Kabotie Lecture series, films – presented by distinguished artists, scholars and cultural specialists. All Festival events are open to the public. See the "Native American Arts Festival Week" tab below for complete details and a schedule of events. 

Native American Arts Festival Week

Reimagining Our Stories:
Storytelling in the 21st Century

June 29- July 5, 2014

Before the first Facebook post, YouTube video, tweet, Tumblr, or Instagram we’ve been telling stories. What is the impact of a changing world on the way we tell stories? How do we continue to use the power of stories to honor our traditions as well as to ignite change + collaboration + collective action? This year’s Festival will explore these questions and the many modes of storytelling today.

The spirit of this annual Festival Week is to bring the scientific, intuitive and trickster voices together for a balanced and provocative learning experience. It is designed to enhance and add depth to the hands-on workshop experience (see the following pages for workshop listings), and includes performances, the Michael Kabotie Lecture Series, art exhibits, and informal discussions with the visiting scholars, tribal elders and artists throughout the week.

The Festival Week events are also OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, offering a way for those not enrolled in a workshop to learn about the most current issues and theories concerning Native American culture and art. Native food tastings daily.



6:30 p.m. Presentation: Sterlin Harjo Talkin’ Indian


7 p.m. Gallery Talk:
            Scott Andrews, Skawennati, Mario Martinez,
            Art as Story

8 p.m. Invitational Exhibition,
             New Stories from Native America 


12–1 p.m. Kabotie Lecture Series:
                  Lisa Telford, Haida Basketry 


12–1 p.m. Kabotie Lecture Series:
                    David Treuer,
                    Writing Indian Life/Indian Writing Life


12–1 p.m. Kabotie Lecture Series:
                 Deana Dartt, Removing the Middle-Man: 
                 Integrating Native American Object Stories 
                 into Museum Interpretation

7 p.m.  Film Night


7 p.m. Performances:
              Mt. Cahuilla Bird Singers
              Git Hayetsk Northwest Coast Intertribal
              Dance Group


8 a.m. Hopi-Tewa Pottery Firing, Mark Tahbo
      Santa Clara Pottery Firing, Nathan Youngblood


Joe Baker (Delaware),
Director, Palos Verdes Art Center

Gerald Clarke, Jr. (Cahuilla), Artist,
Chair, IAA Visual Art Dept.


Freddie Bitsoie, (Navajo) Chef, Anthropologist

Julie Buffalohead, (Ponca), Artist

Mike & Mique’l Dangeli, (Nisga’a, Tsimshian) Artists, Dance Group Directors

Deana Dartt, (Coastal Band Chumash),
Curator of Native American Art, Portland Art Museum

Jim Denomie, (Ojibwe), Artist

Joe Feddersen, (Colville), Artist

Jason Garcia, (Santa Clara Pueblo), Artist

Git Hayetsk, Northwest Coast Intertribal Dance Group

Sterlin Harjo, (Seminole and Muscogee) Filmmaker, Comedian

Athena LaTocha, Artist

Mario Martinez, (Pascua Yaqui), Artist

Kent Monkman, (Cree/Irish), Artist

Mountain Cahuilla Bird Singers

Skawennati, (Mohawk), Artist

Melissa Staiger, (Cherokee), Artist

David Treuer, (Ojibwe) Author, Rez Life; Professor of English, USC

Additional guests to be announced.

Past Festival Guests

Pilar Agoyo
Dr. Lowell Bean
Nanobah Becker
Max Benavides
Dr. Janet Berlo
Joanna Bigfeather
Black Eagle Singers
Dr. Tara Browner
Cahuilla Birdsingers
Gerald Clarke Jr.
Thosh Collins
Dustinn Craig
Dr. Patricia Crown
Dancing Earth/Rulan Tangen
Brent Michael Davids
Kristen Dorsey
Eric Elliott
Phillip Espinoza
Chris Eyre
Gary Farmer
David Gaussoin
Wayne Nez Gaussoin
Teri Greeves
Terry Goedel
Dr. Jonathan Haas
Dr. Ann Lane Hedlund
Maria Hupfield
Diane Calabaza Jenkins
Tom Jones
Ed Kabotie
Michael Kabotie
Paul Kabotie
Dr. Stephen Lekson
Dr. Victoria Levine
Ramson Lomatewama
Hank Louis
James Luna
Bill Madrigal
Duane Maktima
Ken Marchionno

Dr. Laura Marcus
Daniel McCarthy 
Dr. Jessica R. Metcalfe
Patricia Michaels
Josephine and Milford Nahohai
Barbara Teller Ornelas
Michael Ornelas
Sierra Ornelas
Laura Ortman
Walter Parks
Consuelo Pascual 
Eric Polingyouma
Sidney Poolheco
Dr. Charles Redman 
Dr. W. Jackson Rushing III
Dr. Allan J. Ryan
Dr. Mari Lyn Salvador
Joe Sando
Lawrence and Griselda Saufkie
Louis Schalk
Alex Seotewa
Dr. Beverly Singer
Ernest Siva
Jock Soto
Spiderwoman Theater
Arigon Starr
Yolanda Hart Stevens
Maya Stewart
Dr. Rina Swentzell
Mark Tahbo
Patty Talahongva
Dr. Steadman Upham
Dr. Edwin L. Wade
David Wells
W. Richard West
Dr. Wirt Wills
Bethany Yellowtail
Nathan Youngblood
Curtis Zunigha   

Native Plants: Contemporary & Traditional Uses

Native Plants:
Contemporary and Traditional Uses 

Craig Torres, Barbara Drake, Daniel McCarthy &  Abe Sanchez

July 5–6 Course # NANP Ø1

Two-day session

Learn ways to preserve and utilize native plants in this hands-on workshop. On day one, begin with an ethnobotany talk in the campus meadow next to ancient Cahuilla bedrock mortars to learn about local plants and their many uses. Next, learn how to make items from the tule & cattail plants: toys, doll, baby cradle, boat and mat. Learn about the many uses of tule/cattail for house thatching, boats, toys, mats, duck decoys, and food. In the evening, visit local Cahuilla rock art sites to learn the meaning, historical significance and importance of the preservation of these sites.

Day two will be devoted to traditional and modern gathering practices of native plants; preparing and processing with a wide range of plants; and will include demonstrations on the processing of native plants into various products such as foot scrubs/soaks, salves, tinctures, etc. Learn how native plants are used for medicine and prepare natural remedies. Each student will take home herbal teas they make themselves as well as other native plant herbal products. This workshop is dedicated to our teacher, Katherine Siva Saubel, with deep gratitude. 

Skill Level: All levels are welcome.

Tuition: $220

Lab fee: $30 (Includes all materials, collected and prepared; foods; field trip transportation and park fee.)

Enrollment limited to 20 students.

Craig Torres (Tongva) is a member of Traditional Council of Pimu and involved with Ti’at Society, an organization focused on the revival of the traditional maritime culture of the Southern California coastal region and Southern Channel Islands. He is an artist, as well as cultural educator, presenter and consultant to schools, culture and nature centers, museums, and city, state and government agencies acting as a consultant on the Tongva. He has also been involved with the organization Preserving Our Heritage and Chia Café, which provide cooking demos and classes with California native plants. These activities also provide education on the importance of preserving native plants, habitats and landscapes for future generations.

Barbara Drake (Tongva) is a tribal elder and culture keeper. Her program, Preserving Our Heritage, is a food bank of native foods collected, preserved and processed for tribal elders. She is a member of the Mother Earth Clan, a group of three Southern California Native American women educators who have taught extensively in museums, schools and tribal institutions.

Daniel McCarthy received his BS and MS in anthropology from the University of California, Riverside. For the past 40 years, he has worked at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Joshua Tree National Park and throughout Southern California compiling photographic inventories of rock art sites in these areas and throughout the western region. He has worked with Elders and Traditional Practitioners for over 35 years and served as the Tribal Relations Program Manager for the San Bernardino National Forest for 17 years. He is currently Director, CRM Department, at San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

Abe Sanchez has been actively involved in the revival and preservation of Indigenous arts and foods. Two of his specialties are Southern California Native American Basketry and California and Southwest Native foods. He has had the opportunity to work closely with traditional Native American gatherers to learn the methods and practices of these cultural specialists. His interest in traditional foods is that many of these local ingredients are sustainable products that are readily available yet underutilized. He believes that by having the opportunity to teach about these ancient natural foods and helping people learn ways to prepare and eat them again can make a difference in both their health and our environment.


*New* Northwest Coast Cooking & Food Culture

Northwest Coast Cooking
& Food Culture 

Freddie Bitsoie

June 29 Course # NANC Ø1

One-day session 

In this class we will explore food culture of the Pacific Northwest, from northwest Washington to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, looking at food practices of the Kwakiutl, Makah, and Samish tribes, to name a few. Students will explore salmon preparation along with clams, seaweed, and other bounties of the sea, and will also discover ways to prepare berries, milled products, and learn about usage of cedar and different types of lettuce. The Northwest is rich and diverse with many ingredients that contributed to modern American food culture. We will explore the uses of these ingredients from the past and look at ways they have changed over time. This class includes hands-on cooking with short presentations, and the content is designed to enable students to prepare these dishes at home.

Skill Level: All levels are welcome.

Materials: A complete materials list will be sent upon registration.

Tuition: $175

Lab fee: $75 (Includes all foods, recipe booklet, and use of tools in class.)

Enrollment limited to 12 students.

Freddie Bitsoie, Diné (Navajo), is the owner of FJBits Concepts, a firm that specializes in Native American food ways. He has traveled the country, making presentations for organizations and companies such as Kraft Foods, The College of Holy Cross, Yale University, the Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ. He has been featured in and also contributes to Indian Country Today. He has been featured in Native Peoples Magazine and Arizona Highways. His most recent works have been on his own show Rezervations Not Required as well as a guest appearance on famous Italian Chef Lidia Bastianich’s show Lidia Celebrates America. He also has won the Native Chef Competition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian for 2013. Freddie attended the University of New Mexico, majoring in cultural anthropology with a minor in art history before attending culinary school. Today, he is one of the most sought after and renowned Native American chefs and Native foods educators in the country.

Cahuilla Basketry

Cahuilla Basketry

Rose Ann Hamilton

June 30–July 4 Course # NACB Ø1

One-week session 

The Indian tribes of California produced baskets of great diversity and beauty. The exquisite baskets of the Cahuilla, in particular, are recognized among the highest form of the basket making art, and in recent years the Cahuilla have experienced a revival in the tradition.

Each student will learn how to create a basket of his/her own during the workshop using yucca, sumac, juncus and deer grass. On a field trip to the nearby Cahuilla Reservation, students will be taught identification of plants used in basket making and will learn how to prepare the plants for use. 

Skill Level: All levels are welcome.

Tuition: $725

Lab fee: $40 (Includes materials, field trip transportation and use of tools in class.)

Enrollment limited to 10 students.

Rose Ann Hamilton, Mountain Cahuilla, learned the art of Cahuilla Basketmaking from Donna Largo, longtime Idyllwild Arts summer faculty member and the weaver responsible for the current revival of the tradition. Rose Ann was one of Donna’s first Cahuilla students, and has been making baskets for  20 years. She is active in the Southern California Indian Basketweavers Association, and teaches basketmaking at numerous venues, including Agua Caliente Cultural Museum and UCLA.

*New* Haida Basketry

Haida Basketry

Lisa Telford

June 30–July 4 Course # NAHB Ø1

One-week session

For the Haida of the Pacific Northwest, basketry was essential for survival years ago–baskets were used to gather, store and cook food. The instructor continues creating basketry to celebrate the beauty of nature. Even though basketry was functional, the Haida always included a bit of beauty in each work basket. 

In this class, each student will create a women’s work basket using western red cedar and Alaska yellow cedar bark. The techniques you will learn are two and three stand twining, the in-between stitch and you will use color to incorporate your bit of beauty. The size of the basket will depend on experience with basket making and textiles. 

Lisa harvests and prepares her own material, using red and yellow cedar bark. Harvesting cedar bark takes her hundreds of miles from home and takes many hours of preparation time. Materials are prepared differently depending on the final product. The bark is traditionally stored for one year and then further processing is required before weaving may start.

Skill Level:  Some weaving experience helpful.

Materials: A complete materials list will be sent upon registration.

Tuition: $725

Lab Fee: $95 (Includes all materials, gathered and prepared by the artist.)

Enrollment limited to 8 students.

Lisa telford is a Gawa Git’ans Git’anee Haida weaver from British Columbia. She comes from a long line of weavers including her grandmother, mother, aunt, cousins and daughter. Her baskets can be seen in the collections of The Oregon Historical Society, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, and The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, The Heard Museum, The Portland Art Museum, and The Burke Museum. She is renowned for making baskets, traditional hats, and cedar bark clothing.

Navajo Weaving I & II

Navajo Weaving I & II

Barbara Ornelas & Lynda Pete

June 23–27 Course # NANW ØØ
June 30–July 4 Course # NANW Ø1

One or Two-week session 

Students will have the opportunity to learn the art of weaving from Master Navajo Weaver, Barbara Teller Ornelas, originally from Two Grey Hills and Newcomb, New Mexico, and her sister Lynda Teller Pete. While instructing and demonstrating, Barbara and Lynda will share their family’s personal weaving stories and experiences, allowing participants a chance to view the world of Navajo weaving.

According to Navajo oral tradition two holy people, Spider Woman and Spider Man, introduced weaving to the Navajo. Spider Man constructed the first loom, which was composed of sunshine, lightning, and rain; and Spider Woman taught the people how to weave on it. Spider Woman was discovered by the Holy Twins, the culture heroes of the Navajo Creation Story, in a small opening in the earth surrounded by an array of beautiful weavings. Entering her dwelling, the Holy Twins descended a ladder made of yarn, whereupon Spider Woman offered them knowledge of the world of weaving.

Beginners: Students will learn the traditional method of Navajo weaving and will begin weaving on Day 1 with a pre-warped, upright Navajo loom. The majority of the week will be spent designing and learning how to weave a 12” x 16” rug. There will be a lesson on warping a loom later in the week. Beginning weavers may enroll for the full two weeks or in the first week only. 

Intermediate: Students will learn more advanced weaving techniques and more intricate patterns, and the rug may be any size. Students who have begun a rug in this workshop in previous summers may bring their rugs to complete, or may begin a new rug. Intermediate students must bring their own loom and it must be set up for weaving before class begins. Alternately, they may order a pre-warped loom (when they register) to work on if they prefer. Intermediate students (those who have taken this course before or have had previous basic training in Navajo weaving on an upright loom) may enroll for the full two weeks or in the second week only.

Materials: Students may wish to bring a seat cushion and small clamp or desk lamp.

Tuition: $725 per week 

Lab fee: $75 beginners (Includes  the use of a pre-warped loom and all tools in class, six skeins of wool. Looms, additional wool, battens and combs will be available for purchase.) 

Intermediate students: no lab fee (wool and warp will be available for purchase. If choosing to use a pre-warped loom, which must be ordered at the time of registration, the lab fee is $45.)

Enrollment limited to 10 students per week.

Barbara Teller Ornelas is best known for her Navajo “tapestry” weavings (95–120 weft threads per inch). She has set several records with her weavings: she has won Best of Show at the Santa Fe Indian Market twice; she established a new record in 1987 by selling a weaving for $60,000 that she and her sister Rosann Lee made; and she has woven the largest tapestry-style Navajo weaving on record. Barbara is a fifth generation weaver who was raised near Two Grey Hills on the Navajo Reservation where her father was a trader. She has been featured in National Geographic, Business Week, Americana and Native Peoples Magazines, as well as numerous books. She has won dozens of awards, and has demonstrated and lectured at museums and institutions across the country and recently did a cultural exchange with the Peruvian weavers in Peru at the request of the US State Department. Barbara and Lynda have taught their popular workshop at Idyllwild Arts for 16 summers.

Lynda Teller Pete began weaving at age 6 and won her first major award at age 12 at the Gallup Ceremonial. She has gone on to win numerous awards for her weaving; recently winning the Best of Classification for Textiles at the prestigious 2011 Santa Fe Indian Market. Lynda collaborates with museums, schools and other art venues in Colorado and around the country to teach the public about Navajo weaving. She is also known as an accomplished beadwork artist and has won many awards for this work as well.


Hopi Jewelry: Overlay & Tufa Casting

Hopi Jewelry:
Overlay & Tufa Casting 

Roy Talahaftewa

June 30–July 4 Course # NAJH Ø1

One-week session 

In this workshop, students will learn the classic Hopi Overlay technique of metalsmithing, as well as Tufa Casting. Tufa is a soft porous stone used for direct casting one-of-a-kind designs. Students may combine tufa cast pieces with their overlay designs (multiple layers of sheet silver with cut-out designs, textured and oxidized recessed surfaces), or students may create separate overlay and tufa works. In addition, the instructor will demonstrate techniques for making stamping tools.

Beginning students will be introduced to the fundamental materials, processes, and techniques of silversmithing, and those with experience will be able to fine-tune their skills while mastering new techniques. Intermediate and advanced students may choose to learn the shadow box technique. Because students will be working closely with the teacher, the workshop is well-suited for students of all levels of experience.

Skill Level: All levels are welcome.

Materials: A complete materials list will be sent upon registration.

Tuition: $725

Lab fee: $65 (Includes pre-cut tufa, the use of all tools, equipment and consumables such as solder and compounds.) Students are encouraged to bring their own silver and hand tools, if they have them, but these items must be clearly marked. Some silver sheet will be available for purchase in class.

Enrollment limited to 12 students.

Roy Talahaftewa is from Shungopovi Village on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona, and is a member of the Water Clan. He works in both silver and gold, and uses both Hopi overlay and tufa casting in his designs. Roy has been receiving major awards for his work since 1981, including Best of Show at the Heard Museum, among many others. Working with the non-profit Hopi Pu’tavi Project, Inc., Roy teaches Hopi youth the art of metalsmithing, and he is an active advocate and promoter of Hopi artists on the reservation. 

Navajo Inlay Jewelry

Navajo Inlay Jewelry

Richard Tsosie

June 23–27 Course # NAJN ØØ

One-week session 

The Navajo adopted the art of jewelry making from the Spanish after contact, taking the art to new heights and establishing a style that is now considered to be the “traditional” Navajo style. Today, there are many Navajo jewelers who are moving beyond that style, designing contemporary pieces of jewelry which reflect a new Native American reality. Artists are creating colorful collages and patterns with beautiful stones and shells set in gold and silver. In addition to turquoise and coral, it is not unusual to find lapis lazuli, purple lavulite, diamonds, pearls, malakite, jet stone, jade, melon shell and other stones, shells and gems in contemporary Native American jewelry. 

Working closely with one of the leading contemporary Navajo jewelers, students will learn the techniques used to create such pieces. They will design patterns, cut, grind and prepare stones, and set the stones into basic silver forms (rings, bracelets, earrings, bolos, etc.) which they have created. Participants without prior experience in silversmithing will also be introduced to the basic concepts of shaping silver.

Skill Level: All levels are welcome.

Tuition: $725

Lab fee: $45 (Includes the use of all tools, equipment, and consumables such as solder and compounds. An additional charge will be made for all silver and stones used. A small selection of turquoise and other stones will be available for purchase, but students are encouraged to bring their own stones if they have preferences on colors/stone types.) Students may bring their own silver, tools, stones, and a work lamp which must be clearly marked.

Enrollment limited to 10 students. 

Richard Tsosie is a Navajo jeweler and sculptor from Flagstaff and the Wide Ruins area of the Navajo Reservation and is currently living in Scottsdale, Arizona. His work has been featured in American Indian Art Magazine, Arizona Highways Magazine, the video Beyond Tradition: Contemporary Indian Art and Its Evolution, as well as several books including, Southwestern Indian Jewelry by Dexter Cirillo and Enduring Traditions, Art of the Navajo by Jerry Jacka. Richard’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums from New York to California.

*New* Chumash Stone Carving

Chumash Stone Carving

Ted Garcia

June 28–29 Course # NASC ØØ

Two-day session

The Chumash indigenous people of California produced many handcrafted items carved from steatite (soapstone), serpentine and other natural materials. Steatite artifacts recovered in Chumash village excavations include comals (food prep devices), bead ornaments, large and small bowls, animal effigies,  land and maritime tools as well as many other items. Many Chumash stone carvers continue to practice this highly regarded and recognized cultural skill today. 

Each student will learn how to create two soapstone carvings: one pendant and one small animal effigy of their choice. Various items such as ceremonial pipes, animal effigies, bowls and pendants will be displayed and discussed. A brief overview of stone gathering techniques, among other aspects of traditional Chumash culture, will be taught.

Skill Level: Beginner

Materials: A complete materials list will be sent upon registration.

Tuition: $220

Lab fee: $65 (Includes 2 soapstone pieces, one file, plus use of instructor’s files in class, dust mask, various grit sand paper, braided cord for pendant.)

Enrollment limited to 10 students. 

Ted Garcia (Chumash) is an artist and the Chief of his band of the Chumash Tribe from the San Fernando Valley in California. As president of the Board of Directors for the Satwiwa Native American Culture Center, he was featured in Discovery Channel’s National Parks Show. Ted is the spiritual advisor for the Hart of the West Powwow in Newhall, CA and has served on the Board of Directors at the Chumash Interpretive Center in Thousand Oaks, CA. He has presented at the Autry National Center, has twice been awarded an Artist in Residence grant from the LA Department of Cultural Affairs, and is the recipient of two LA Treasures Awards from the City of LA Cultural Affairs Department.

Stone Work and Photos by Tony Ayala

Native American Flute Making

Native American Flute Making

Marvin & Jonette Yazzie, Ernest Siva

June 26–29 Course # NANF ØØA
Intermediate: 4-day session (Thurs.-Sun.)

June 27–29 Course # NANF ØØB
Beginners: 3-day session (Fri.-Sun.)

In this workshop, each student will construct and decorate a six-hole flute under the guidance of an experienced Navajo flute maker. They will also learn some history of flutes as well as the care and handling of their newly created instrument. During the course, ethnomusicologist Ernest Siva will teach the basics of flute playing and each student will receive a small booklet of flute music.

Beginning students (3-day session begins
June 27) will use spruce  for the body of the flute. They will carve, shape, oil, tune and finally decorate their flute. The Pentatonic scale will be used to tune the flutes and students may choose the key (from F to A).

Intermediate students–those who have taken class from the Yazzies in the past (4-day session begins June 26) will use redwood for the body of the drone (double) flute and may choose the key (from F to A).

Materials: A complete materials list will be sent upon registration.

Tuition: $490 (Beginning, 3-day session)

$590 (Intermediate, 4-day session)

Lab fee: $40 (Beginning, 3-day session)

$60 (Intermediate, 4-day session)

(Includes wood, totems, materials and the use of tools and equipment in class.)

Enrollment limited to 10 students.

Marvin and Jonette Yazzie are from Lukachukai, a small town on the Navajo reservation in the Four Corners region of Arizona. Jonette assists Marvin in flute making, an art they learned from their relative Willard Coyote. Their flutes are carried in the Heard Museum shop and others around the country, as well as Asia and Europe. Recording artist Scott August of Cedar Mesa Music has used Yazzie flutes on Sacred Dreams and New Fire, two of his CDs. Marvin is listed in Flute Magic and Voices of the Flute. Yazzie flutes are used in the music programs of Tuscon and Klamath-Trinity school districts. Marvin and Jonette played flutes in the play Anasazi at the Ramona Bowl in 2011and played preshow for the Ramona Pageant.

Ernest H. Siva is a musician and teacher. He is the cultural advisor and tribal historian for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. Siva formerly taught public school music in Palm Springs and Los Angeles before teaching courses in American Indian music at UCLA for 12 years. He and his wife June are Idyllwild Arts alumni and former trustees. In 2004, Ushkana Press published his book, Voices of the Flute. He is president and founder of the Dorothy Ramon Learning Center.

Cahuilla Style Pottery: Paddle & Anvil Technique

Cahuilla Style Pottery:
Paddle & Anvil Technique 

Tony Soares

June 23–27 Course # NAPC ØØ

One week session

Learn how to create the beautiful ollas used by the Cahuilla people of Southern California to store food and water. Using two different clay types during the week, including Salton Sea clay (for buff ware) and brown clay, students will hand build two to three 6” to 12” pots using the paddle and anvil method. 

Experience all techniques and steps used in the process including paintbrush making, grinding and preparing paint stones to decorate the pots, making nets (used for holding and hanging the round-based ollas), and more. See a demonstration of fire-starting by friction, and learn how to make palm frond rings (pottery stands). Students will have the opportunity to experience two types of firings during the session and will learn to make an “urban kiln” for use at home.

Skill Level: All levels are welcome.

Materials: A complete materials list will be sent upon registration.

Tuition: $725

Lab Fee: $55 (Includes gathered and prepared Salton Sea clay and brown clay; paints, firing materials, net making materials, and the use of all tools in class.)

Enrollment limited to 10 students.

Tony Soares learned the fundamentals of pottery from his grandmother at age seven, starting a 30+ year journey to revive the fading art of olla making. Though not of Cahuilla descent, he is credited with helping to revive the art of Cahuilla pottery making through his experimentation with local clays and indigenous handbuilding techniques. Today, his pottery is displayed in art galleries and museums including the Tahquitz Canyon Museum. Tony is dedicated to sharing his knowledge to ensure that Native American pottery making is never lost. He has taught his skills at many venues including the Agua Caliente Band of the Desert Cahuilla of Palm Springs and the Yuman tribes of the Colorado River, Arizona.

Hopi-Tewa Pottery

Hopi-Tewa Pottery

Mark Tahbo

June 30–July 5 Course # NAPH Ø1

One-week session-includes Saturday a.m. firing

Students in this workshop will learn the traditional Hopi method of creating polychrome pottery, including coil building, stone burnishing, painting with natural pigments, and firing. Learn how to process and prepare raw clay for pottery making and to prepare beeweed plant for black paint. Students will also have the opportunity to experiment with two types of clay, the Hopi-Tewa gray clay, as well as the yellow ochre clay that Nampeyo often used; see demonstrations of slipping techniques using white kaolin and yellow ochre; and learn two firing techniques (for both gray and yellow ochre pots).

The natural clays and paints are provided by the artist, from the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. There is enough clay for each student to make 2 to 3 small pieces of pottery – all that can be successfully completed in the week-long workshop. This is not a production pottery course, but a careful examination of the delicate process of Hopi pottery making and the cultural foundation from which the art is inspired.

Skill Level: All levels are welcome.

Materials: A complete materials list will be sent upon registration.

Tuition: $725

Lab Fee: $55

Enrollment limited to 15 students.

Mark Tahbo is known as one of the finest Hopi potters today. Born and raised on the Hopi Reservation, First Mesa, Mark learned the art from his great grandmother Grace Chapella, Nampeyo’s neighbor and a principle pottery “revival” artist decades ago. His distinctive pots have been exhibited worldwide in museums and galleries. Among the many top awards he has earned at the Santa Fe Indian Market is the prestigious Helen Naha Memorial Award for Excellence in Hopi Pottery which he earned for 3 consecutive years. Mark has been profiled in various publications including Native Peoples Magazine, and is included in numerous books and articles on Pueblo pottery. 

Santa Clara Pottery

Santa Clara Pottery

Nathan Youngblood

June 30–July 5 Course # NAPS Ø1

One-week session-includes Saturday a.m. firing

Learn the traditional methods and techniques for making Santa Clara Pueblo pottery–the distinctive black polished work with carved designs. The instructor will guide students through all the steps from processing the native clay, hand–building using the coil technique, designing, carving, slipping and stone burnishing, to reduction firing for blackware.

Because the instructor’s method requires extensive air-drying time, each student will have the privilege of using a dried vessel prepared by the instructor to learn the carving, polishing and firing techniques. In addition, each student will start pieces from the beginning of the process–mixing clay (with your feet!) and building pots–and will be able to complete those pieces at home after the 30-day drying period. The workshop will also include individual firings, and discussions about Santa Clara Pueblo, the pottery making tradition, and the cultural foundation from which the art is inspired. The raw clay and paints are provided by the artist, and are gathered from his home.

Skill Level: All levels are welcome.

Materials: A complete materials list will be sent upon registration.

Tuition: $725

Lab Fee: Beginners: $95 (includes clay, paints, stones and all materials, as well as one 5.5” wide x 5" tall dried vessel prepared by the instructor to complete.)
Returning students: $125 (Includes all of the above, but a larger dried vessel, 5.5” x 7“ tall.)

Enrollment limited to 12 students.

Nathan Youngblood is a sixth generation potter from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico, and is the grandson of renowned potter Margaret Tafoya, and son of Mela Youngblood. He has been making pottery since 1972, creating both black and red & tan traditional styles, and adhering to all the traditional aspects of making a bowl. Nathan has won numerous awards in Native American pottery competitions. His work has been exhibited widely at galleries and museums across the country, and he has been included in numerous magazines and books on Native American art and pottery. Nathan has served on the boards for the American Craft Council, Gallup Inter-Tribal Ceremonial, the Southwestern Association of Indian Arts (SWAIA), and the Wheelwright Museum.


Special thanks to our generous 2013 & 2014 sponsors : Anonymous Donor, National Endowment for the Arts, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Cahuilla Band of Indians, Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations, Morongo Band of Mission Indians.





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