History

The Dodson family began making pottery together in the 1970s in Fortson, Georgia, just north of Columbus. John O. Dodson and his wife Sybil opened the first Mud Dabbers shop in Brevard, NC in 1988, while John also taught at the nearby Rockbrook Camp for Girls. 

John O. Dodson teaches a ceramics course at the Rockbrook Camp for Girls in Brevard, NC.

The Mud Dabbers name was inspired by dirt daubers, insects who build their nests from mud. These friendly insects found the Dodsons' drying pots to be the perfect source of building supplies. The smiling Mud Dabber logo, drawn by son John E. Dodson at age 12, symbolizes the joy and happiness the family hopes will be yours in the sharing of their craft.

John and Sybil Dodson outside the original Mud Dabbers Pottery & Crafts in Brevard, NC.

In 1997, John and Sybil's son Brad opened a new Mud Dabbers location just outside Waynesville, NC in the Balsam area, beginning a new generation of Mud Dabbers potters. Brad's brother, John E. Dodson, also owns a pottery shop in Brevard, NC, alongside his wife, Carol.

Left to right: Brad Dodson, John E. Dodson, and Phillip Johnston shortly after the grand opening of Mud Dabbers Pottery in Balsam, NC, circa 1997.

Nearly twenty years later, our Balsam location has grown to feature a diverse selection of locally handmade crafts. All pottery sold in our shop is created on-site in our Balsam studio or in the private, local studios of our family and friends. In addition to pottery, we also carry the work of other local artisans such as woodwork, hand-woven baskets, photography, and even local honey and preserves - all made in Western North Carolina.

Mud Dabbers Pottery & Crafts in Balsam, NC, with rhododendrons in bloom.

Our pottery is high-fired in two large natural gas kilns. All our glazes are lead-free and food safe. Our pottery is safe for use in the dishwasher, oven, or microwave.

If you can't make it to our Balsam location in person, don't worry! You can browse our selection of functional and decorative stoneware pottery in our online store. Every item in the online store was made on-site in our Balsam studio by our two full-time potters, Brad Dodson and Mark Karner. 

Click here to enter our online store.