Mud Whimsy, Spring Market Featured Artisan, Loves Clay and You'll Love What She Does With It
Anne Pendergrast of Mud Whimsy specializes in unique porcelain creations including functional work, planters, and animal figurines. Each piece is handmade from start to finish so there are never two exactly the same.
FF: Why did you begin your handmade journey?
MW: I have always been creative. As a child I would make paper sculptures, drawings, sewing projects, and whatever I could get my hands on. Everything I did kept leading me back to being a maker so eventually I just gave in. I don't think it was so much of a choice as something I had always done and finally realized it was a viable career.
FF: How did you begin your handmade journey?
MW: I built a strong foundation in college where I received degrees in ceramics and education. After graduating college I taught for a long time and put ceramics on the back burner. I didn't have the equipment or space to do it, and after an intense program I was burnt out. I got back into it in a night class at the Boulder Pottery Lab and through my love of coffee. I started bringing mugs I had made to coffee shops for my own personal use and people started ordering them. This is still how I get a lot of business! I slowly built my ceramic studio, piece by piece. It took me a few years and a lot of persistence to get to where I am now - I have a full studio in my back yard with a kiln and a kick wheel, and enough work to keep me busy.
FF: What lead you to your current line of goods?
MW: From the beginning I had a clear idea that I wanted to make things that I enjoyed making, and pieces that I would want myself. My current line reflects my interests of the moment, which is seasonal. I'm thinking of indoor jungles (often a theme of mine). I've designed a variety of new porcelain wall planters, hanging planters, and table pots to house different types of greenery. Plant motifs have been popping up on mugs and dishes as well. I've incorporated new display items to accommodate these pieces, and hope it helps inspire you to add some green to your home!
FF: What materials do you work with & why?
MW: I work with porcelain clay. It is a white body and is very easily contaminated, so once I started with porcelain I stuck with it. I sometimes will mix in other elements like leather, paint, stones, and plants.
FF: What inspires your work?
MW: I am very inspired by nature, animals, bugs and plant life. I am also always trying to maintain some balance and happiness, because if I lack that then it is hard to be inspired.
FF: Any advice for makers and biz entrepreneurs new to our creative community?
MW: Do what you love. It is so important to be proud of your product and to enjoy making it. Also, keep at it! I applied for markets for two years before I was accepted.
FF: If you have a strong partnership with a non-profit org, what is it and what inspired you to do this?
MW: I am excited to work with The Wild Animal Sanctuary on Earth Day, April 22nd. It is the only organization of its kind- they take in carnivorous animals like lions, tigers and bears (oh my!) that have either been relinquished or confiscated. The animals roam freely on over 700 acres of property. Currently they have over 450 animals! I will be a vendor at the event with a portion of my profits benefiting the sanctuary.
FF: Let us know if/where you sell your work other than online and at markets.
MW: My Etsy shop is: www.mudwhimsy.etsy.com, and I sell my work at Tesoro Gallery in Denver, Willow Artisans Market in Littleton, Alpine Modern in Boulder, and I also make custom work for Dragonfly Coffee Roasters, Session Coffee, and Trident Cafe and Booksellers.
FF: Anything else you'd like to tell us?
MW: All artisans and makers can only do what we love with support! I appreciate my customers so much, and truly, I couldn't do this without them!
Visit and shop with Anne Pendergrast and Mud Whimsy at Firefly Handmade Spring Market, May 20-21, 10am-4pm, Twenty Ninth Street shopping district, Boulder, CO!