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I grew up in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, where I still reside and have my studio. I first discovered an interest in clay with a pottery class I took in Jr. High School. It was just basic hand building techniques, like slab and coil work, but it was enough to plant a seed. The first time I had access to a pottery wheel, I was in High School. After the very first session on the potters’ wheel, I was hooked! I began going every day to throw, and spent as much time as I could in the ceramics room, sometimes taking up to 4 ceramics classes a day. Working in clay became my passion. Even then, I knew I wanted to be a potter. It was a difficult time in my life and I think that is why I focused most of my energy into pottery. My senior year, I was able to take a Raku workshop, which only helped fuel my desire to keep learning and grow as an artist. I entered and won several competitions with “First Prizes” and “Best in Show” awards. I earned an art scholarship and art sponsorship before leaving school.

After High School, I wasn’t really sure what one would do to become a professional potter. There was no set rule or recipe that I had ever heard of. It wasn’t like, go to college for four years, get a degree, voila you are a pro. I had ideas of going to some high priced art school at some point, but soon realized I would be in debt forever with that route. So, I called around every place in the phone book that mentioned the word “pottery”, looking for work. I was lucky enough to find a studio that could use my help, and I went straight to work in the field as an apprentice. At the same time, I started taking classes at the community college. After all my hard work in the class, I got a “B” in my only pottery class in college. I continued working for the studio, where I think I learned more simply watching, than any class could ever teach. I was able to attend shows and gained some exposure with local art guilds. I decided to try my hand at running my own pottery business.

I went off to work on my own, and quickly got swallowed up in the business end of things. I soon realized that running a pottery of my own was not the same as having a pottery hobby or being an apprentice potter. For me, making pottery was fun, but it wasn’t always necessarily what people would like to buy. I didn’t think I could make a real living out of making pots. I decided to give up the pipe dream, “grow up” and get a “real” job. Though I have seen success with other ventures, in my time away from the studio, at some point I realized there was something missing.

In the years since I opened my studio, I couldn't be happier! Every day is a treat to wake up and go to work. My work is now featured in several publications including Vogue Knitting, Pocono Record, and Pocono Plateau as well as other online pulications.

The Mud Place: Handmade Pottery by Leslie

The Mud Place sells handmade functional and decorative pottery like mugs, bowls, serving and tableware, shaving and lather bowls, yarn bowls, pitchers, teapots, home decor, kitchen helpers, bathroom and office accessories, miniature pottery and more! I would love to hear about your special project, so please message me about custom work.

Everything you see in my shop is handcrafted by me, Leslie, from stoneware clay. I mix my own glazes and they are all food safe and non-toxic. My functional work is dishwasher and microwave safe. I always try to put function before decoration. To me, art is not just something to hang on a wall. Art fused with function is paradise to me. Most of my work is wheel-thrown pottery and I also incorporate slab, carving and sculpture techniques. If you would like to learn more about what I do, check out my website: www.themudplace.com

**Ask me about combined shipping discounts.