Wild Clay & Ancient Technologies Workshop                                                                            Registration below –

I am a potter & gardener & daughter of the greater St. Louis region. My entire life I’ve been intrigued by history and fascinated by the universe beneath my feet.

Several years ago, I had a booth at Art Outside – the Schlafly Art Fair, when I met Alleen Betzenhauser. Al is an Archaeologist, the Coordinator at the American Bottom Field Station, of the Illinois State Archaeological Survey. Her experience and knowledge is focused on the Late Woodland & Mississippian periods.

“A thousand years ago – the St. Louis region was home to the largest city in North America, Cahokia. The people who lived here – the Mississippians – built earthen mounds, made finely crafted objects of stone, shell & copper and were prolific potters.”

Al wanted to know more about making pots and was on a quest to find a specific clay. I wanted to hang with an archaeologist and soak up information.

That chance meeting launched an adventure focused on ‘late pre-Columbian potting practices in the American Bottom’. We’ve tromped through creeks, made a lot of pots (and mistakes), and (over the past two years) have learned so much.

Although I have been a potter and educator my whole adult life, this adventure has informed and challenged much of what I thought I knew about making pots. I now think differently about making pinch pots, preparing clay, rolling a coil, decorating, and of course firing.  What we called ‘primitive pottery’ when I was a student is anything but.

We would love for you to join us in this project.

In April we are offering a hands-on workshop that meets 4 times; balancing studio and archaeology practices with a solid measure of history.

Learn about local / wild clay, traditional hand-building & decorating techniques, and fire your pots in an outdoor bonfire. We will begin by tromping through creeks to gather clay. In the studio we will process our materials, make, decorate and fire pots in an open bonfire.

No experience is necessary.                                                                                                           Mondays – April 8, 15, 22 & 29. 6pm – 9pm

The workshop will be held at my Edwardsville Studio. (Map provided upon registration)
The cost is $175 for the entire workshop.  Materials included.

Contact me (Susan Bostwick) at sbost330@gmail.com OR register here:

Wild Clay & Ancient Technologies Workshop

Archaeologist Al Betzenhauser & artist Susan Bostwick will guide you through digging local clay, making pottery using traditional techniques and firing pots in an open pit. Mondays – April 8, 15, 22 & 29. 6pm – 9pm Dig & process local clay. Discuss temper & history. Make pots using traditional hand-building methods & tools. Burnish & experiment with decorative techniques. Fire the pottery in a shallow pit / bonfire. The workshop will be held at Susan’s Edwardsville Studio. (Map provided upon registration)


wild clay flyer front.jpg_resized
Many thanks to Frank Prager & The Alton Advantage Newspaper
for this lovely article in the January edition-


6 thoughts on “

  1. So great meeting you today! What a small world w/North County roots & Burroughs & art connections! I’ll check out your window at the new guild! Who knew? That I’d run into an artist on my first solo Artists date with myself!
    Don’t forget to check out Process Painting and the cgjungstl.org!
    Julie Schulte

  2. Hi Susan! I took your classes at jacoby a few years back and worked with you at your studio for awhile! Hope everything is well!! I was wondering if you know of any places still doing ceramic classes or a studio membership type deal. I heard jacoby isn’t doing it anymore and I’m missing the clay!! Thanks!!

  3. Hi Susan.

    I took several classes with you in the early 90’s atSIUE.

    Our oldest daughter passed recently. We are looking for a vessel to hold her ashes. Is there a place that would have your work on sale?

    Lisa Stelling Jokisch

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s