Haywood Community College
Contacts: Debra M. Davis, Diana S. Conard
185 Freedlander Drive
Clyde, NC 28721
828-627-4521 Fax: 828-627-1218
For immediate release.
MAKING MUD PIES
It took Charlie Parker, 2002 Haywood Community College Professional Crafts-Clay graduate, many years and many jobs before he followed through on a childhood dream. He worked building houses, making pizzas, operating heavy equipment, and laying block. He worked for 12 years at Steelcase and when he lost that job, he knew it was time to make a move.
Parker used to love to make mud pies and he remembers thinking what a dream it would be to get paid to do it. He says getting your hands into the clay is much like making those mud pies.
That is what brought Parker to the HCC professional Crafts-Clay program. He completed a nine-week pottery course in high school so he had the basics. He just needed some technique and know how added to it. After asking other artists where to start, he heard the program at HCC was the right choice. He found everything he needed at HCC.
“At HCC, I learned how to become profitable at what I enjoyed-working with my hands,” Parker explains. “I learned how to make my pieces different by taking extra effort with each piece. Each piece takes time. The tips I learned at HCC really make a difference.”
The difference was noticeable to Mud Dabbers Pottery. Parker started work at the Brevard location as soon as he graduated and he’s been there ever since.
Parker says working at Mud Dabbers is intense and competitive with 11 potters and 6 family members. “You always want your work to stand out against all the others in the shop. It makes you work harder.”
Parker describes his pottery as functional with an old, simple look. He makes everything from dinnerware and pitchers, to sinks and nesting bowls. He participates each year in the Empty Bowl Fundraiser. His work can also been seen at The Gravy Gallery in Brevard, where a portion of the sales go to Boys and Girls Clubs.
For a special treat, Parker’s work, as well as others from Mud Dabbers and graduates from the first class until the last class will participate in a 30th Anniversary Show. The show runs through January 7 at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville.
Participants in this biggest show ever will include crafters from all across North Carolina and many other states such as Montana, Ohio, New Jersey, and Oregon.
For more information on the HCC Professional Crafts 30th Anniversary Show, call the Folk Art Center at 298-7928 or the HCC Professional Crafts Department at 565-4156.
Photo attached: (Donated photo)
Cutline: (Shown in photo) Pottery pieces by Charlie Parker such as shown here are featured in the HCC 30th Anniversary Show. The show runs through January 7, 2006.