Mighty Mud is more than a pottery shop. It's a community of artists and amateurs trading ideas and creating art.
(WBIR-Knoxville) It's a place where creative people get their hands dirty and even make some art. It's called Mighty Mud.
"We really want to grow the community of artists and ceramicists here in Knoxville," Mighty Mud owner Barron Hall said.
They are doing just that at Mighty Mud on McCalla Avenue. Michael Robison and Barron Hall create their own art there and share the space with others.
"We want to have a good time, we laugh a lot, we have a lot of coffee and other beverages and we just enjoy ourselves," Barron said.
Michael Robison said, "We provide a place for people to come and almost have a Walter Mitty experience where they get to come and not be themselves and they come in and play with their inner artist and they leave here dirty and sometimes they leave with a coffee mug of three or ten or twelve to drink out of."
They make a lot of vases and bowls and even a few turtles.
"Other than just pottery we have jewelry makers, we have painting classes that are starting in the spring, we've had metal workers, mosaics, glass," he said.
Kathy Aycock is one of the artists who rents space at Mighty Mud. Her specialty is pottery with a mosaic tile flair.
"I just think it is marvelous that we have this in Knoxville to support artists and to support the clay arts," Kathy Aycock said.
Both serious artists like Kathy and part-time hobbyists occupy the outer rim of the room with classes held in the middle.
"We accommodate everyone from people who want to come in and just try it out and get their hands dirty for an hour and never come back to people who want to be potters," Michael said. "There's a great deal of pounding and grinding and kneading that goes on so people work out their day to day frustrations on the clay and then they make something pretty or not. We have people come in here just to mess things up and go home and be happy."
That being happy part is key.
Barron said, "We're going to take care of your inner clay needs but we're also going to take care of your inner child. We're going to talk to you, we're going to make you laugh, and we're going to push you in ways you've never been pushed before."
Michael laughed and said, "It's exactly what I want to do for the next five or six days of my life. Maybe another year or 10."
You'll actually find them there six days a week, getting muddy, laughing loudly, and throwing pots.