Petroglyph workshop at Ah Haa in Telluride

Instructor Peter Pino standing by his work station. Him and his wife came from Zia Pueblo which is outside of Albuquerque, NM. The goggles and rocks for carving into plus the tools needed to draw with.


Living in the Southwest I’ve always been curious about petroglyphs. Zia pueblo artist Peter Pino was teaching a workshop in Telluride on the process of how they can be done so I signed up. The workshop was held at Ah Haa School for the Arts in Telluride, Colorado. It involved a 3 hour drive to and from the workshop but I had to do it since it was only 4 hours of class time and there wouldn’t be any need to spend the night in Telluride plus the need to learn about how it’s done.

One great question that was asked from one of the students was what the history was behind the petroglyphs and what was the reason they were made. The teacher answered the question by saying that they were first used to let the people migrating know where water was available but drawing bird tracks on the rocks. The reason for the bird tracks was because small birds tend to stay close to where there’s water available. From there the rock art evolved into more designs and the communications between the people migrating increased.


We had first wet our rocks in the river to get all the dirt off before we started carving.


After working on a small piece of rock carving it's ready to be dipped back into the river to clean it up.


One comment the instructor made that really struck me was that we're not doing this it's all up to spirit how this comes out. I feel the same way about my work. That I'm just the worker bee doing what's the energy is informing me.


The carving gets lost in the rock when it's wet. 


The finished piece after it has dried. I'd like the technique to go into my work but haven't figured in what way yet.