I was asked to participate in an educational grant to help students understand the art and science of pottery.   I wrote curriculum about the chemistry of glazes and the physics of a pottery wheel along with many other topics.  As part of the adventure, the resident potter allowed me to try out throwing on the wheel.  I was instantly hooked! Over the past 15 years, I have taken lessons from local studios and John C. Campbell Folk School.  I enjoy incorporating the shapes, colors and textures found in nature.  Our State magazine carries several pieces of my work in their online store. 

Tales of the High Seas and Beyond began three years ago bringing illustrated handmade porcelain to the table. Debra is a published illustrator with a love of pottery. She works out of her home studio combining under glaze illustration with wheel thrown and slab rolled functional porcelain forms. Debra has been drawing her whole life graduating with a Fine Art Degree in book making and discovered clay 17 years ago. She has been working in clay on and off since then. She has, over the past three years, combined the two mediums to create original and unique pieces for special occasions or everyday use.

Janet Belinski

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I have been playing in the dirt on and off for over 25 years by creating both decorative and functional work. Nature is where I draw inspiration using plants and water creatures to make each piece unique. Working with clay keeps me happy and relaxed.

Linda Belter

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Dianna Bessette is currently working in earthen ware on both functional and dysfunctional pieces. I enjoy traditional shapes, contemporary glazes and the textures of life.

Using the ancient technique of cuerda seca, a cloisonné-inspired method of decoration originally used to mimic the look of mosaic, I make ceramic tiles and other home decor items that evoke a sense of serenity and celebration. My work is intentionally happy. The dark terra-cotta color of stoneware clay takes the edge off of even the brightest of reds and oranges making them earthy, easy to live with, and easy to care for.

When I moved to North Carolina, I quickly seized the opportunity to learn from and play in clay with some of the many potters known in this area. I believe that after fifteen years I have developed my own style.  I enjoy working on the wheel and the freedom of hand building methods. Of course, wanting the best of both, it is only natural that I combine techniques. It is also natural that I was drawn to making frogs, for I have been a "frog freak" since I was a child. It began with bowls and cups coming off of the wheel. I began to add legs and those wonderful bugged eyes. Each frog and each piece has its unique personality, just like us. This is life, and I am so enjoying being a full time potter!

Sharon is a retired Digital Media Arts Professor, at Santa Ana College, CA. She returned to her hometown, Charlotte six years ago. Sharon is returning to her love of traditional media – clay, watercolor, pastel, and colored pencil. She has enjoyed working with Paula Smith at Central Piedmont Community College in her Studio classes over past three years. She enjoys designing abstract representation from organic shapes in nature.

John  is 41 and lives in Gastonia, NC. He has been doing functional ware and face jugs/mugs for the past two years. He comes from a family of ceramicists. His Mom, Grandfather and Grandmother did slip casting with hand decorating. John grew up around clay. He studied under Jack Sexton at JS Pottery. His current work is Casserole dishes, ring vases, pitchers and some folk pottery like water jugs.

I studied jewelry design at the Jewelry Arts Institute in NY as a goldsmith with a focus on Byzantine and Etruscan techniques, including gold granulation, classical chain-making and classical settings. Upon moving to NC, I discovered the rich and varied ceramics community with class/workshop opportunities.  As I began to learn the possibilities of working with clay, I became more intrigued with incorporating textures and found objects into my work bringing to life what has been discarded or overlooked in both metal and clay.

David Clark

I have been working with clay for over 30 years as a part-time hobby but after I retired from the Post Office after 34 years I decided to spend more time working with my craft. 
The results is a lot of pots and a new etsy shop. I'm proud of the pots I make and love when I hear that others enjoy using them.

Lori Clodfelter

Lori is a full time studio potter living and working in Seagove, NC, where she owns and runs Pottery Road Studio and Gallery. Her work focuses on balancing form and function and bringing art into everyday pottery pieces.   Her love of the Lowcountry of South Carolina shines through in her work.   You will find Spanish Moss trees, tidal flats, and southern charm in all her pieces.  She works in white stoneware locally sourced in NC, and carves her work in a process called sgraffito.  The work is then high fired in a gas reduction kiln.

Jim Deason

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James is happiest when making, building, creating and fixing. He earned a BFA in ceramics from East Carolina University in 1987 but had a hard time deciding what to major in having equal interest in woodworking, sculpture , glassblowing, jewelry and more! He loves throwing and hand building primarily functional pottery using stoneware and fires in a large gas kiln he built years ago. “Nature has always been an inspiration as he loves hiking , camping, gardening and back yard birding”!

I am a Studio Potter at Pottery 51 in Mint Hill.   I thoroughly enjoy the muddy process of throwing on the wheel or handbuilding and bring life to my pottery with textures from nature and with shapes of animals:  owls, geese, chickens and pigs !  My pottery is for your daily use and amusement

I am fortunate to have my own studio at my home along the Catawba River in Charlotte. It allows me the time to release stress from my workday whenever I need it!  Pottery is a wonderful hobby and when someone compliments or purchases your work, the endorphins do wonderful things to your mindset.  Being a part of CCM

allows me to collaborate with other potters at different levels of ability and also participate in many workshops. Ideas and techniques are gleaned from all. I enjoy making functional forms and glazing in whatever color strikes my fancy that particular day.

Sylvia Coppola has been working in clay since 1976, earning her BFA from Western Carolina University.  Sylvia is a studio potter in Indian Trail, NC where she opened Duck Creek Pottery in 1989. She currently teaches workshops on hand building, throwing, marketing and glazing.  Duck Creek Pottery is sold in gift shops and galleries across the US, including Alaska and in Canada. The pottery is thrown, sometimes altered and hand built and is fired to cone 10 in a reduction atmosphere in shades of greens, browns, tans and blues. 

Hal was born and raised in the Catawba Valley and lives in Lawndale, North Carolina. Primarily self-taught, he has been making Catawba Valley pottery since 1994. Keeping alive the tradition of using simple ash glazes and firing the pottery in his wood-fired ground hog kiln reflects Hal’s love of tradition within his community and heritage. His pots and unique creations are expressions of his honor for this ancient craft. Hal’s work was included in the Mint Museum’s “A Thriving Tradition” 75 Years of Collecting North Carolina Pottery 2011 – 2012 permanent collection. He is also a featured potter in “Valley Ablaze” Pottery Tradition in the Catawba Valley

Sue Edwards

Sue Edwards began working in clay in 2014 after moving to Charlotte.  She is inspired by the female figure and nature. Learning to create beautiful forms and sculpting has opened a new chapter in her artistic world.


Brenda Etzel

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I have been at Clayworks since 1992 as a student and now a studio artist. I have been a member of the Carolina Clay Matters Pottery Guild since 2009. I am intrigued by natural shapes, textures, and colors. While I often include them in my work, I don’t feel limited by them. I try to create good forms with satisfying variations in color and texture, and I hope the joy I feel in the making is evident in the finished work. .

My pottery is mostly inspired by observations of  my daily travels. The snippets of information that inspire my designs can be something simple like a bird on a tree branch, a patch of wheat blowing in the wind or a beautiful sunset.  I put my heart and soul into each piece I create. My unique pieces are wheel-thrown or  hand-built or a combination of hand-built with wheel-thrown elements.  I enjoy making functional and as well as decorative stoneware with beautiful texture and colorful glazes.

Corine’s impressions and carvings on her pottery are forged from memories of her youth, surrounded by the beauty of the canyon lands, the desert rock formations and ancient Indian art in Utah.  Her work is subtle, quiet and thoughtful; reminiscent of nature at rest.  Corine was an affiliate artist at the McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, recipient of a Mecklenburg Arts and Science Council’s Regional Artist Grant, founding member of Buffalo Creek Gallery in Shelby, NC, and Visual Art and Education Coordinator at the Cleveland County Arts Council. She lives in Lawndale, NC.

Travis Hall

 My name is Travis Hall and I have been a ceramic artist since 2009. I studied ceramics at Central Piedmont Community College and received an AFA(Associates of Fine Arts). From the moment I began working with clay, my imagination and creativity came full circle. I found that my hand building skills made for the best tool. Altering wheel thrown pots into animal forms. Recently, in the past few years of my artistic exploration; I have found a passion for Raku pottery. This reduction process can result in a variety of outcomes.  The ceramic form will always be a unique experiment as I know that I'll never loss the ambition to push my imagination.

Sheridan Hathaway

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"I studied art my first two years in college working towards a BFA, but then changed my major. I continued my art as a hobby and after working in the business world for 40 years rekindled my passion for creating art with my hands. Pottery is my expression of that passion. Today I work at home and I am a studio artist at Clayworks. My art is both utilitarian and aesthetic, which allows me to enjoy working in different forms of ceramics. My art logo, Pots by A'Bear is a play off of my last name." 

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Kristen is a graduate of Appalachian State University. She has a Visual Arts and Culture degree, with a minor in Entrepunership Studies.  Her concentration is clay, she has become proficient at throwing, handbuliding and slip casting during her time at ASU. Kristen makes functional forms to make life and daily tasks more enjoyable. She is inspired by different aspects of nature: plants, streams, and rocks. The roughness and elegance create texture that she likes to replicate on her pottery forms. Kristen enjoys being creative and coming up with new forms and exciting ways to apply texture.

Intrigued with the organic qualities of clay, put me on a path to retain the living dancing attributes while the clay is wet. By using "slung slabs" it stretches and infuses them with a permanent sense of movement. I live in Hendersonville NC, as a full time clay artist.

Judy Lietner

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Judy was an art teacher in New Jersey for 32 years. She started throwing at Monmouth University in 1964 and went on to graduate school at Montclair University where she continued pottery classes. She was a member of the N.J. Pottery Guild and has studied with Tom Neugebauer at The Visual Art Center of N.J. and Leon Nichols. She has also attended classes at Penland and at Winthrop University with Jim Connell. Judy enjoys throwing large pieces on the wheel.

Karen MacMurray

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I am a former art teacher who fell in love with pottery and traveling.  I traveled from Colorado to Florida making and selling ceramic jewelry in both art shows and renaissance festivals.  I gave up traveling and settled down to throw clay in beautiful North Carolina which I now consider home.  My work is often filled with lots of color.

Kim Marcadis started her pottery career while living in Matthews NC from 2004 to 2016.  In 2016 she moved back to her small home town in NE Indiana and is converting her grandfather's unused mechanic shop into her studio. She makes functional pieces for indoors and out.  You can find her work on her website, The Raptor Center in NC and Birdhouse on the Greenway in NC.  She is also very active in the CCM Pottery guild

I like to stay outside the box with my clay creations. Recently I have taken a detour from my fruit and vegetable forms and ventured into animals. My work consists of stoneware clay forms of organic nature and animals that I shape by hand using thrown pieces and other hand building techniques.  I then pair them with found objects to create wind-chimes, lamps and sculptures.  Having fun with what I do is very important.

Jodi Lynn McNeely has a driving need to paint something, make something, or fix something.  She has taken numerous art classes at Central Piedmont Community College and has also participated in several ceramic workshops to continue her education.  Her Industrial Technology Bachelors, ceramics training and free form carving has proven to be a nice combination for creating pieces with structural integrity and aesthetic interest.  She has been featured in several student art shows and currently has work on display in the Charlotte Douglas Airport.  Jodi Lynn resides in Charlotte and is a member of the Carolina Clay Matters Guild.

A 15” handmade ceramic fruit bowl we received as a wedding gift in 1995 was the beginning of my journey in clay which has evolved from a fascinating interest to what I now believe is so much more. Functional pottery and a tailored form appeal to my practical side and minimalist aesthetic

I enjoy expressing myself in clay in a way that challenges me to go deeper into who I actually am and hope to be.

I enjoy pottery from centuries ago and use that knowledge in history and the natural world  around me to develop new forms and ideas to share with others.

I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania. I attended college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where I received my Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts, with a major in ceramics and a minor in painting. I have been creating functional pottery and ceramic art since 1999.

Lib Moss

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Missy Moss

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John and Jan Myers have been making pottery for forty years.  They make function and decorative stoneware pottery and have many large porcelain air-brushed pieces.  They mix their own glazes and Jan paints with a large variety of underglazes and then dips the piece in clear glaze.  The Myers enjoy having visitors at their farm in Hickory Grove, where they are happy to give demonstrations and tours on request. There is a large showroom with finished work for your shopping pleasure or you can just watch them work.  They also enjoy children and helping them have a positive experience making their own piece.

Gwen Orland

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I have always been intrigued by the limitless possibilities in working with clay! Recently I have been focusing on wheel thrown and altered utilitarian pieces. Nothing makes me happier than when my pieces are used in everyday life, in cooking, eating or simply adding a hand-made item to someone’s daily routine.  My love of poetry and inspirational quotes often find their way onto my pieces and I am so pleased when these words are meaningful to others as well.  I am inspired by the earthiness of clay and drawn to an earth toned color scheme as well, especially when richness of the clay breaks through the glaze.

Our sweet little home is along a sweet little creek, Back Creek. Since I am a home potter I thought I wanted to create a homey name for my business. I’m a stay at home mom and a mother to two little boys, John and Benjamin. My first son made me a different kind of mother when he entered the world needing open heart surgery. He is doing well now and we recently welcomed a second child into our lives. I love pottery and the craft is my favorite way to relax. Every year my pieces get better and better and I love practicing and advancing my skills. I hope my pieces find a way to brighten up your home as they have mine.

I create functional stoneware and porcelain pottery using all American-made materials. Many of my pieces feature my own ash glazes at the top to complement the primary color of the vessel.  I also create fine art raku pottery that I alter, incise and texture with found objects. My work reflects my intense interest in oceanography. The constant flow and subtle shifts of undersea currents and the movements of marine life beneath the surface inspire the marks and altered shapes unique to my art.

Along with creating wheel thrown functional pieces, my passion is hand building in clay. I like to bring my background in painting to my clay work, which often results in colorful and textured artistic pieces that hang on walls.


My primary artwork is pastel portraiture, of both children and pets.

I have been playing in clay for 10+ years. I am fascinated by the unlimited creative possibilities that clay provides. In my Charlotte home studio I create functional stoneware and outdoor garden pieces. I also explore the fun of creating unpredictable raku pieces.  I never get bored working in clay

Ann works exclusively in organic forms with unique textures suggested by what she observes in nature.  She uses a variety of stains and underglazes to enhance the natural beauty of the clay and plays with vibrant colors to add an element of surprise.   Every piece is unique, and she is always thinking about her next new idea! 

Brenda Roberts

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Andy Smith, Potter in Marshville, North Carolina, creates raku pottery with organic, free-form shapes and designs. Andy began his clay studies at Wingate College in North Carolina in 1976. He also studied at the Arrowmont School of Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  A full-time potter since 1983, Andy shows his work in galleries from the Virgin Islands to Boston, Massachusetts.

Jan Stora

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I have been an “artist” for as long as I can remember …..rolling tiny clay coils on my front porch at age 5, making rooms and furniture from cardboard boxes, learning to paint at Lynchburg Fine Arts Center in the fourth grade. Constantly creating…painting floor cloths, waters colors of my young children, wooden folk art and finally back to my love of clay from college days at Radford University. I love the feel of the wet clay and the sense of excitement each time the clay is ready to become what it wants to be on a given day. Then the decorating process begins….coils, balls, stamped, sgraffito, cutouts, then the bisque firing. Next comes layers of underglaze and glaze using very fine brushes with only a few hairs…the creative process on each piece is a labor of love. My spirit lives in each piece of pottery. Now that love is being passed on to my grandchildren as they learn to love “playing in the mud”.

In 1986 Gena VanDyke took her first pottery class at college just for fun, and wound quitting her day job about a decade later. It's the "what if" or "how to" in achieving an item that fuels her creative spirit. Now her days are spent in the controlled chaos of her home studio in Charlotte, making work for art shows, galleries and special orders.

Debbie Williams

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After retiring in 2013, I decided to take a pottery class st the Cornelius Art Center and became “hooked” on creating functional pottery for the home and garden. I enjoy using the wheel and hand-building to create my pieces and love to decorate them using various techniques.

I use a dash of whimsy to create ceramic art that surprises. I enjoy stretching the limits of the clay to reach beyond the functional to create works that challenge the senses in both form and texture. My life as a ceramic artist reflects my formal training as a textile designer. My work is often inspired by fashion; from clothing to accessories. I create clay vessels that might seem “wearable”, this will appeal to people who can see beyond the usual.

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