Behind the Scenes with Mud Whimsy, Spring Market Featured Artisan
Inspiration and whimsy abound in Anne Pendergast, AKA Mud Whimsy, as she creates her incredibly original ceramics!
FF: How did you begin your handmade journey?
MW: I've always been creative and interested in art but for much of my life I didn't believe that I could make a living at it. In college I studied art education and that led to taking a ceramics class. I simply fell in love with working with clay! After I graduated I worked in a private art school for about 10 years and during that time I meandered back to working in ceramics. It started off with making a few mugs for myself at a night class. When I brought my mugs to the many coffee shops I visit (I am a total coffee addict!) I began getting orders.
Two big things happened that changed the course of my ceramics career. The first was when I started taking over my house with clay projects and my dad built me a little studio in my yard. I lucked out and found an inexpensive kiln on Craigslist, I had been storing a kick wheel for years, and found a table at a thrift store. It was all I needed to begin producing more work on my own terms! The second thing was selling my work at Firefly Handmade. I had been applying for a long time and made the wait list a few times. Spring of 2014 I got in! It helped me get to a place where I could make a living at working with clay!
FF: What lead you to your current line of goods?
MW: My work is always changing and evolving. When I create I make things that I love, because if it doesn't sell then I get to keep it! I pretty much follow whatever whimsy I feel like, and this is part of how I came up with my business name, Mud Whimsy. I never want to make just one type of ceramic ware, so I make a little bit of everything including mugs, dishes, figurines, wall planters, and jewelry.
FF: What materials do you work with & why?
MW: I work exclusively with porcelain clay. I like the white body, the smoothness, and having a white canvas for bright glazes. A lot of my work is carved and surface texture is applied and porcelain is a great medium for that.
FF: Inspiration comes from where?
MW: Everywhere! I really love animals, bugs, and sea creatures and they show up pretty often in my work. I also have a warped sense of humor and that comes out on occasion, especially when I am working late at night.
FF: What excites you for the future?
MW: I've started a new line of wedding cake toppers and it is always such an honor to be a part of someone's special day! I am thrilled to keep making stuff. I still surprise myself with what comes out of my brain. Every time I have a work day I try to make at least a few things that are not for an order, just to keep myself enticed to be creative. So really, every day that I work (which is most days) is exciting!
FF: Any advice for makers and biz entrepreneurs new to our creative community?
MW: I have been amazed at how supportive the creative community can be! Every time I've reached out for help or advice everyone I've talked to has been so kind and wonderful. Other than that, do what you love, work hard and persevere!
FF: Anything else you'd like to tell us?
MW: I especially enjoy making custom items; they make the best gifts! If you have an idea for a mug, a little creature, a cake topper, or anything come and talk to me at the Firefly Market! I'd love to hear your ideas and come up with something really special for you.
Chat with Anne and shop Mud Whimsy at Firefly Handmade Spring Market, May 21-22, 10-4, Twenty Ninth Street shopping district , 1710 29th St. (between Canyon & Walnut), Boulder, CO.