Claudia Dunaway

Yummy Mud Puddle


Claudia Dunaway has been a potter for nearly 40 years, having originally studied with legendary potter Charles Counts in Rising Fawn, Georgia, and at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro. Her education continued through the years through a series of workshops conducted by such notable potters as John Glick, Jack Troy, Toshiko Takeauz, and Peter King. More recently a Penland workshop lead by Kathy King and Paul Wandless on printmaking on clay has added to her repertoire of techniques.

After long stretches in both Fredericksburg, Virginia and St. Augustine, Florida teaching and owning galleries, she and her artist husband John Richards returned in 2003 to North Carolina to immerse themselves in the rich community of local artists anchored by the Penland School of Crafts northeast of Asheville. Together with daughter and textile artist, Kathryn Lynch, they established the Yummy Mud Puddle in Burnsville.

Claudia uses a range of clay bodies and fires in a gas reduction kiln to create subtly varied finishes. Her work is intensely illustrated with strong line and wide ranging subject matter. Her work has been exhibited regionally and nationally in galleries and exhibitions. In addition to being a founding member of Mica, she is also a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, and the Spruce Pine Potters Market. When not making pottery Claudia enjoys playing music with the Toe River Chamber Orchestra and the novelty jazz band, Hot Duck Soup.

Artist Statement

“I fell into the mud at any early age and found it to be quite satisfying.”

I am drawn to plump voluminous forms as they seem to offer such promise and challenge. An inhalation of fresh air, the full clear note played on a trumpet, a seed pod about to burst, a bubble floating across the sky or on the surface of water. Throwing such forms on the wheel requires an extra stretch of the clay and just the right arc to create a veritable "orb". Pushing into the form emphasizes its roundness and volume. Drawing, printing images, and carving into it creates an anticipation of what is around its sides. Because the majority of my work is functional, I want my pots to be inviting, cradled, and appreciated.