12. MudWorks Pottery
Utilitarian and Garden Pottery. All work is handmade, fired to Cone 10 in a gas Canary reduction kiln.
Come by, check us out, enjoy the work and the view.
Some people search all of their life for that which gives them pleasure, helps them focus and feel centered. Early in my life I discovered that for me the answer was in nature and a simple ball of clay. Clay, water and fire are materials of nature; the materials of a potter. Through the windows of my studio I hear water flowing in the creek and the air tussling in the trees. Inside, the wheel hums and James Taylor is playing in a mud spattered boom box.
In the early 70’s at Appalachian State University, I took my first course in clay and became hooked. That summer I purchased my first Brent wheel. I carried that wheel around with me like a kid drags a guitar. I threw on decks, in spare bathrooms—anywhere with enough space for that wheel and me.
In 1974, I began my career as an Art Educator at Fort Bragg. Over the years I remained there but also taught classes and workshops for N.C. Dept of Education, Methodist College, FTCC, Fayetteville Parks and Recreation, Fayetteville Museum of Art and at Mill House Art.
I continued my personal exploration in clay, participating in craft shows, building kilns, throwing and sharing a studio with a friend. In the early 90’s, I moved my studio to the edge of the woods that surrounded our home in Cumberland County.
Upon my wife’s retirement in 2016, she joined me in the clay studio producing primarily hand built vases and garden faces.
Our work is made of High Fired Stoneware Clay, which is reduction fired to cone 10 in a gas kiln I built. All glazes are made and adjusted by me to meet our needs.
Nature remains a strong influence, perhaps even more since my retirement from education in 2006. My wife, Sharon, and I have recently begun a new adventure. We purchased land in Alleghany County and began reclaiming the land, the construction of outbuildings, and introducing ourselves to this land between 113 and Mabe Dairy Road.
We have traded our walks through the woods and along the creeks to walks in new woods and hay fields. We are enjoying the wonderful views of mountain skylines and long views of farm lands and ranges, all of which are offering new ideas.
Our little log home is completed, as well as the studio. The new down draft gas kiln is up and running. Old songs by James Taylor have once again returned to that mud splattered boom box and the wheel is turning. As for me, I am back spending most of my days with that old wheel and a ball of clay doing what I love to do; “playing in the mud” and Sharon, well she is building her garden faces and enjoying the mountain.
Drop by the studio at 218 Mabe Dairy Road, Laurel Springs, N.C., sit in the swing or on the porch and enjoy the beauty of Laurel Springs.