How is the Pottery of the Catawba made?

For more than 4,000 years, Catawba women have made beautiful pottery using the same technique.

A potter first shapes a ball of clay into a pancakelike base. She then rolls more clay into tubes, which she coils around the base and flattens out to form the pot’s walls.

After the pot dries, its surface is smoothed with a stone. The potter then places the pot into a pit of fire.

The firing process gives the pot a smooth finish and makes the clay take on the mixture of orange, brown, and black colors for which Catawba pottery is known.