About the potters

Cindy Farley is the "production" potter in the family; her creations are both useful tools for the home and beautiful works of art! Cindy specializes in streamlined, simple designs and colorful glazes.
 
In the late 1970's. Cindy enrolled in a clay class at Pensacola Junior College, which kindled her passion for working with clay and ultimately led to her dream job as a full-time potter.
 
After the class, Cindy continued in independent study for several years in West Florida and Southern Alabama. In 1989, she moved to East Tennessee, where she taught private and group lessons in hand-building and basic clay sculpting to home-schooled children. Later, she would work in the studio of acclaimed East Tennessee sculptor, Joyce McCroskey.
 
Cindy now lives in Western North Carolina, where selections of her work are displayed at Mud Dabbers Pottery & Crafts. She has also taught clay classes at Carwile-Dodson Studio for Pottery Instruction, located next door to Mud Dabbers.
 
Cindy has completed semesters of coursework in clay at Pensacola Junior College and formal courses at Arrowmont School of the Arts in wheel pottery, hand-building, and polymer clay. She has also completed an apprenticeship with John Dodson at the Carwile-Dodson Studio for Pottery Instruction.
 
When she's not at the potter's wheel, Cindy keeps busy by taking her dog, Sally, for walks, going to Bible studies, learning to play the dulcimer, and stand-up paddleboarding with Mike!

 

Why I love pottery: "Centering the clay on the wheel each time I make a vessel reminds me how Christ has his hand on me, guiding and molding me into his image. To get the clay to the form I see in my mind is a gift from God and a joy to my heart. To see someone enjoy something I've made is extra special to me!"

Mike Farley, Cindy's knight-in-shining-armor (and husband since August 1976), is also a potter. Mike loves to play chemist and mix new glaze colors; he has even made his own clay! Mike is not afraid to experiment with new techniques and learn along the way, and his eye for detail and symmetry bestow a subtle elegance on his creations.


 

He has had formal classes at Arrowmont School of the Arts in hand building and polymer clay; at Carwile-Dodson Studio in Wheel, hand-building, and raku; and at Spruill Center for the Arts in Atlanta, Georgia, with Stephen Hill in surface design and wheel throwing and decoration. In summer 2011, Mike spent a week at the Bascom Center for Visual Arts in Highlands, North Carolina, studying glazes and color development with John Britt, and another week studying under Peter King and Xinia Marin at Stonehaus Pottery in Pensacola, Florida, learning to go BIG with architectural ceramics. In 2012 he returned to Stonehaus for another week of intense advanced study in architectural ceramics and creating public art objects.

 

Mike also does a lot of the "nuts-and-bolts" work to keep the business running. We think we'll keep him around! When Mike isn't busy with the pottery business, he likes to camp, sail on his inflatable sailboat, “surf” on his standup paddle board, and plink on a guitar (but not all at the same time!).


 

Why I love pottery: "What intrigues me about pottery is the endless potential for personal growth. Each phase of the art form is a science unto itself, but is also a part of several symbiotical processes. From Clay selection and formula, to glaze chemistry, to the many varied methods of firing, each facet provides a lifetime of learning. Unlike other creative processes like sculpture, painting, or modern photography where one can look at and feel the final result as it is being made, the finished ceramic product is not realized until the final cooling cycle of the final firing and opening of the kiln providing the very final rock-hard result."

 

Jamie Farley, Mike's and Cindy's youngest daughter, is a Ph.D. candidate in English Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. To procrastinate from working on her dissertation, Jamie likes to make "pretty" stuff with clay, mostly carved lanterns, mosaic wall hangings, earrings, and other hand-built jewelry and decor. She is great at doing the company's detail work, and is the website creator and photographer. She loves to write the nifty labels and recipes for our pots! 

 

To further procrastinate from Ph.D. work, Jamie likes to go hiking with her dog (Walter), learn the ukulele, exercise, bake goodies, and play with explosives.

 

Why I love pottery: "I like the challenge of creating something new and beautiful out of a glob of plain mud. I also love the detail work that's involved in pottery, and the enjoyement of looking at the finished product."

 

 

Sally is a six-year-old rescue dog and is in charge of customer relations and employee morale.

In her spare time, Sally eats dog cookies, digs for moles, and serves as a trained therapy dog for nearby nursing homes. She is known far and wide for her gentle disposition, her crazy-accurate internal clock, and her love for sleeping!
Walter  is in charge of studio security and employee entertainment. He is a seven-year-old German Shepherd and Jamie's goofiest, bestest friend. When he's not guarding his people, Walter enjoys chasing balls and bubbles (and the occasional rabbit or squirrel) and playing in Walter's Pond at "The Farm" (the studio location). Those who are in his circle of friends appreciate his positive outlook on life; for Walter, every day is the best day ever!