John Dodson is a second generation potter and owner of Mud Dabber's Pottery of Brevard. He began working in clay as a child with the encouragement of his father, John O. Dodson. He began wheel throwing at age 15, and continued his hobby of potting throughout college and beyond.
When his parents decided in 2000 to retire from the Mud Dabbers location in Brevard, John and wife, Carol, relocated the store and took over its operation. He also enjoys teaching at John C. Campbell Folk School.
When not working in the studio, you are likely to find him paddling a local river, cycling a mountain road, or dreaming of a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail.
Klayton Huff and Molly Brouwer grew up in rural Indiana. They both pursued art degrees at Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, where they met as freshmen. Before long they had become close friends and collaborators. Both graduated in the spring of 2011 and immediately followed their dream of moving to the mountains of western North Carolina to immerse themselves in the tradition of folk pottery production.
Lucky enough to stumble upon Mud Dabbers Pottery in Brevard, both began working as full-time potters. They utilized their time in the studio at Mud Dabbers to learn all they could about the trade and how a production pottery studio functions.
In 2013, the two got married and purchased a home in nearby Lake Toxaway where they could fulfill their dream of building their own studio. The two took a break from production in early 2015 to build their studio and form Panthertown Pottery (named after nearby Panthertown Valley). At their home studio, they continue to produce work for Mud Dabbers Pottery of Brevard.
Cindy Farley (center) is the "production potter" in the family; her creations are both useful tools for the home and beautiful works of art! Mike (left) loves to play chemist and mix new glaze colors, but his specialty is outdoor items like mushrooms and flowers, as well as large-scale architectural pieces. He also handles the business side of things.
Jamie (right) enjoys making jewelry, which she also sells at https://www.etsy.com/shop/Relegant. You'll see her home goods, such as carved luminaries and soap dishes, at Mud Dabbers.
David has made pottery in Western NC since the 70's after moving up from the coast. He produces functional and decorative porcelain and stoneware fired in both oxidation and in a wood-fired soda kiln at his home and studio in Zirconia. Active as a pottery teacher and arts advocate, he finds joy in making and sharing clay art.
In these times of hectic schedules, it is my hope that my pottery will bring to you a moment to relax and enjoy, and a smile to the heart. -Carolyn Strickland, Laughing Hands Pottery
Stuart Howe was born and raised in Charlotte, NC. He first discovered pottery just a couple of miles down the road from Mud Dabber's, at Gwynn Valley Camp where he taught pottery for three summers. He graduated in 2010 from UNC-Asheville with a degree in political science and the conviction to make a career out of pottery. After living in New Zealand and Washington, D.C., he returned to the mountains to join Mud Dabbers in 2012. Stuart works out of his home studio in downtown Brevard.
Will Weigle is originally from the keystone state of Pennsylvania. He attended Alfred University and several other colleges in pursuit of advancement in ceramics. Once he graduated, he moved to North Carolina where he apprenticed under John Dodson and soon became a full-time potter with Mud Dabber's. Will is passionate about the creative process; his work is ever-evolving. You can find him busy with new ideas in the studio, experimenting with glazes, and pushing the clay medium to the extreme in order to appease his desire to create innovative works of art.
Wood fired pottery is labor intensive and challenging. Forms are designed that will be enhanced by the flame flowing through wares from the fire box to the chimney. Ash falls on work forming a glaze, often with flowing drips. Dian built her wood fire “Cougar Kiln” after retiring in 2010 as Director of the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design. She began working in clay in the 1970’s and continued with workshops throughout her 28 years in arts administration. She is now a full-time potter in Hendersonville, NC.
Mary Ann Purser
North Carolina artist Mary Ann Purser is a functional potter, designing and creating pieces that offer both purpose and beauty. The classic forms behind her pieces are simple, but her signature carvings, textures and glazes transform these objects into works of art designed to enhance everyday life. Mrs. Purser uses both wheel-thrown and hand-building techniques and specializes in reduction-fired and wood-fired stoneware and porcelain pieces.
Elizabeth has been with Mud Dabbers since the late 1990's and a potter since 1991. During the day she works as a social worker at cardiac rehab at Transylvania Regional Hospital and also works as a reflexologist and certified healing touch practitioner. When she isn't making pottery or mixing glazes for the studio, she enjoys playing old-time music and hiking with her two dogs.
Denise Byrd has been an artist for as long as she can remember. Her chosen medium for the last 12 years has been clay. Denise claims to be a “puttering potter” while working full time as an office manager, calling her pottery “therapy.” Working strictly in low fire Earthenware now, she is known for colorful, whimsical, and one of a kind pieces with their own character. Her reward is to see the joy and laughter her art brings to others. Denise is the creator of our popular “Appalachian Little People.”
“Mud Dabber’s has given me the learning environment where I am free to try, succeed, and fail surrounded by artisans who are so willing to share ideas.”