Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pat Shields & Janice Hall Shields - Georgia Mudcats Pottery

It is only fitting that I feature this couple as the first artists on the artist market blog. I met Janice and Pat nearly five years ago when my oldest son was about 18 months old. He was drawn to their work, even as a baby. We still have that tiny face jug he insisted on buying at our very first meeting. We've collected as a family ever since! When making the decision to start the artist market four years ago, we called them first. And, they have been with us since the inaugural year. Join us in November to have the chance to see their amazing work in person.

Patrick Shields and Janice Hall Shields began studying southern pottery traditions in the early 1990's. Intrigued by the dynastic nature of the art's history, Pat and Janice began visiting North Georgia potters and were invited to try turning a pot. They became hooked on pottery making after visiting and apprenticing intermittently with Bobby Ferguson of Gillsville, Georgia and Jerry Brown of Hamilton, Alabama. Soon there was no turning back and they began building the equipment necessary for their pottery shop.

Over the past seventeen years, Janice and Pat have visited potters in many of the southeastern states. While they have adopted and strive to maintain many of the traditional methods used in the southern cottage pottery industry, they have also gained much knowledge from contemporary potters and now incorporate some modern techniques into their production. They work full time at their studio near Danielsville, Georgia and invite visitors to the shop by appointment.
Their accumulated experience and creative expression shows itself well in the functional stoneware and decorative folk art wares they produce. Every pot produced at Georgia Mudcats Pottery is made from native clay, wheel thrown, and individually hand decorated. Janice and Pat mix each batch of glaze from raw ingredients using traditional or original recipes and all pots are wood fired by the artists.

Janice and Pat have been featured in Southern Living magazine, The Athens Banner Herald and Northeast Georgia Living magazine.

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