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September 15, 2020 by Scott Allen

SAAM Meet The Artist - Michael Sherrill

September 15, 2020 by Scott Allen

"Big John" Stitches Big Clay

Amazing footage of John Cummings working with big clay. He is using the new FANG, EXTRA LONG SCRAPER RIBS AND FETTLING KNIFE. The FANG will be available for purchase very soon.

July 20, 2020 by Scott Allen

We’re now using locally-sourced ash for our paddles and petal tools

There’s a great story from Sunday’s Hendersonville Times-News about Banks Mountain Forest Farm, where we recently bought the ash lumber and had it milled. Writer Beth Beasley did a great job describing the way farm owner Bob Richens uses his draft horses to extract the ash trees with minimal impact on the surrounding forest. Mudtools is mentioned in the story, and I’m quoted, too. 

While most ash trees in this area have some level of infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer, which will eventually kill the tree, the trees that Bob is removing still have lots of board feet of usable lumber. After we shape the tool parts from the dried ash wood, we char and sand each before adding a light oil/beeswax finish. As I mention in the article, ash is a super-strong wood that also has lots of give—making it perfect for use in tools. These tools will just get better with age, for a lifetime of use.






June 23, 2020 by Scott Allen

World Magazine

Fantastic article in World Magazine! Thank you and get job to Hannah Harris.

Sculptor Michael Sherrill’s studio in western North Carolina is tucked under trees, nestled a few yards from a small waterfall. The soft, cascading sound of the waterfall met the snap of a wood-burning fireplace as Sherrill poured green tea into stoneware mugs and described how nature and faith influence his art.

read more....

April 03, 2020 by Scott Allen
Tags: Art

Michael Sherrill Retrospective - Arizona State University


In his delicately rendered sculptures, Michael Sherrill seeks to elicit a sense of wonder from viewers and to make them see things afresh. Working with clay, glass and metal, his exquisite floral forms have the allure of Martin Johnson Heade’s passionflower and orchid paintings and the botanical engravings of John James Audubon, at the same time they are remarkably new. This retrospective will illustrate the artist’s evolution over his more than 40-year career and highlight his contributions to contemporary art, craft and design. Primarily a self-taught artist, Sherrill moved from Charlotte, North Carolina to the western North Carolina mountains in 1974. His early influences came from the North Carolina folk pottery tradition and the community surrounding Penland School of Crafts and the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild. Sherrill began his career by making functional clay vessels in the 1970s and 1980s, but his desire for continued growth led him to create altered vessels of more abstracted form in the 1990s. Ultimately he shifted his focus to multimedia sculptures inspired by nature, as seen in “Temple of the Cool Beauty (Yucca).” He explores the beauty in natural growth and decay with bright colors, often through painstaking technical processes. Sherrill’s exceptional skill is based on his innovative approach to using tools, technology and his keen sense of materials together to achieve what he calls his “natural narratives.”

Sherrill’s artistic evolution led him to master techniques of metalworking and glass working and to invent new tools where needed. In 1995, out of the need for tools that did not exist, he designed Mudtools®, now a successful line of tools for potters and sculptors. He is a frequent instructor at Penland and has taught at craft schools and workshops across the country. In 2003, The Mint Museum honored him as Artist of the Year. Sherrill served a two-month residency at the John Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, WI in 2006. His work is in several major museum collections, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. As part of the World Ceramic Exposition/KOCEF, Sherrill was one of ten artists invited to build outdoor sculptures placed permanently at The Museum at Icheon World Ceramic Center, Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, in 2004. He received a United States Artists Windgate Fellowship in 2010.

"Michael Sherrill Retrospective" is organized by The Mint Museum. Funding for the exhibition catalog and national tour provided by the Windgate Foundation. Additional funding for the ASU Art Museum’s presentation is supported by the Windgate Foundation as part of the Windgate Contemporary Craft Initiative.

Join us for an intimate conversation with artist Michael Sherrill to learn more about his artistic practice and career, Tuesday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Artisan Court at the Brickyard.

February 25, 2020 by Scott Allen

Hands in Clay Workshop with Michael Sherrill

Join Michael Sherrill, a materials-based artist who primarily experiments in the media of clay, metal, and glass, for a two-day workshop that will explore techniques using porcelain and slips to create transitional color. Inspired in his own work by observations of the natural world where color is always in motion – transitioning from one color to the next, Michael will demonstrate post-firing surface techniques using diamond abrasives to remove material and polish the surface. In his practice he uses extruders and a lot of hand building techniques, but artists whose practice is at the potter’s wheel will also discover techniques applicable to their work. During the weekend workshop, participants will work with porcelain at cones 6 and 7.

In addition to the two-day workshop, Michael will be giving an artist talk, A Visual Presentation and Conversation with Michael Sherrill and Joan Takayama-Ogawa, on Friday night from 7-9pm. This event is free to the public! Check out the Eventbrite invitation for more information and to rsvp.


Sa, Su


10:00AM to 4:00PM


Feb 22, 2020 to Feb 23, 2020

February 19, 2020 by Scott Allen
Tags: Art

Surface To Form

6th Annual South Carolina Clay Conference, February 28, 29, March 1, 2020.

  • Special discounted price for college and university students
  • Participate in SC Clay Con Pottery Sale                                                                                                 
  • Be a part of the growing community of potters in SC

For more information or to register go to

January 21, 2020 by Scott Allen

Michael Sherrill at The Penland School of Craft - The Unified Object: Color, Form, Surface - CLAY SUMMER SESSION 6 AUGUST 9-21, 2020

In the natural world, color is always in motion, transitioning from one color to the next. This workshop will explore techniques using porcelain and slips to create transitional color. I will demonstrate post-firing surface techniques using diamond abrasives to remove material and polish the surface. We’ll cover the use of extruders and some handbuilding techniques and make a variety of sample pieces. Artists who work at the wheel will also discover applicable techniques. Students will be encouraged to bring their favorite handbuilding tools—particularly for mark making, texturing, carving, and embossing. Electric firing. All levels. Code 06CA

Penland School of Craft

January 13, 2020 by Scott Allen

NBC Channel 4 Washington, DC

Artist Michael Sherrill takes glass, metal and clay and molds them into creations that could make nature long for his gifts. His works are on display at the Renwick Gallery in D.C. through Jan. 5.

Check out this great spot on Channel 4 in Washington, DC.



Painting by Micah Sherrill

December 23, 2019 by Scott Allen