Before designing this project, artists Harries and Heder bicycled throughout the neighborhoods beside the freeway, knocking on doors and talking with residents. Wherever they stopped to chat, they noticed pots atop living room shelves and mantels. This and the deep Southwestern history of Native American pottery inspired them to re-imagine the gargantuan freeway sound wall as a neighborhood shelf, celebrating the rich variety of pots from all cultures, ancient and modern. According to the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American Art, "Vessels have special significance in the Southwest as containers of water and special planting environments in the arid climate. The form is also universal, with a history of simple function and high art, a part of domestic life as well as monumental architecture and a common denominator of cultures, including European, African and Native American traditions."
Ranging in size from two to more than fifteen feet, the “pots" assume many forms and functions: seating niches, gazebos, rest stops by the canals, neighborhood guardian vessels, free-standing giant vases, teapots along the trail, and even a hummingbird garden. Several smaller vessels that once sat on the wall near Bethany Home Road were removed in 2004, when the height of the sound wall was increased. Those pots are now on display at the Deer Valley Water Treatment Plant. The pots were constructed primarily of painted concrete and steel and produced by an Arizona fabricator specializing in large-scale displays. The vessel surfaces were painted by Arizona artists. The completed project earned numerous awards for re-imagining the impact of freeway sound walls on neighboring communities. These included a Valley Forward Award in an Arizona Best Award from the Arizona Republic, both in 1992.