Acoma potters mix their clay with ground-up bits of broken, fired pots.
This prevents the new pot from cracking in the firing
process. A pot is made by coiling clay in a circular manner and pinching
the coils together, smoothing them to form the sides of the pot. The pot
is hardened ("fired") in an open fire. Once a pot is fired only
a few elements are used to form designslines, scrolls, and geometric
shapesbut there are endless variations so that every pot is different.
Mixing iron ore with the beeweed plant makes a black paint. Paint is applied
with a chewed yucca leaf to the surface of a pot that has been covered
with thin white clay slip.