People made canteens in different ways. ASM curators Jan Bell and Alan Ferg described at least four techniques for canteen construction in their 1990 publication, Pueblo Pottery Canteen Construction (see References and Suggested Readings):
- Make a jar shape, and then flatten it into a canteen shape.
- Attach two equal, dish-shaped pieces together to make a symmetrical canteen; this is called luting.
- Build the canteen from the base to the rim, often with the result of an off-center spout.
- Coil clay ropes from the flat back up to the dome of the canteen, and then close the hole at the apex. This is the technique that appears to be most common among Pueblo flat back canteen makers.