I found an excellent video on youtube which is going to be fabulous to show at the beginning of each workshop. Something to get everyone in a similar head-space and thinking about the importance and sacredness of clay...It is a beautiful demonstration of how to make a traditional clay pot: Native Clays Indigenous Art and Pottery of Tony Soares. In this video, 1.25 hours, Tony Soares demonstrates the process involved in creating paddle and anvil pottery, a technique used by the Indigenous Southwestern People of North America. This type of pot is known as an Olla (pronounced 'Oya').
As I didn't expect most people, except clay nuts like myself, would be able to sit through this fascinating documentary in 'real time' (it demonstrates the processes of digging your own clay, kneading it with water, forming the pot with coils, painting it using natural pigments and minerals and then building a pit fire to finish the piece) I painstakingly taught myself how to video edit the original and reduce it to only 10 mins. I of course, purchased a copy of the video from Desertskymusic 2008 giving all credit to Clive Wright who filmed, edited, directed and made the beautiful music with Carl Roesster, to Anna La Cazio for her great narration and of course to Tony Soares for his wonderful talent and art.
The request of the filmmakers was that 'this motion picture is intended for the education and preservation of our treasured heritage' and as this is exactly the purpose of for which I wanted the film, I feel very happy about using it as my introduction into the traditional and modern world of clay at the Clay Project workshops. Please watch it, it is awesome!!
My shortened, 10 minute version can be found on the facebook page.