The Hermannsburg Potters belong to a small community in Western Ararnta, 130 kilometres south-west of Alice Springs. They are famous for their colourful terracotta pots which are crafted by hand, the body from coiled clay and the lid by hand modelling. Clay is important for Ararnta people, traditionally used for ceremonial and medical purposes. Many of the women in the community still use “healing clay”, and consider their current practice as continuation of traditional practices (from Make:Hermannsburg Potters, NGV Magazine, Jul-Aug 2015).
The Hermannsburg Potters, as they are now known, began as an outstation project in 1990. The community has embraced this art form and its potential for introducing a new language to communicate, share and celebrate Aboriginal culture. The pot decorations tell stories about their history, country, community, daily life and sporting heroes:
Share the related works of art with students and ask:
Students design and create their own pot design using the following steps:
Students share their pot with a partner: