DIYers are full of surprises. Sometimes you just need to ask the right question. I was reminded of that recently when I interviewed a woman at The Blue Dome Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The event gives local artists a chance to showcase their artwork in a historic area on Route 66.
I knew I wanted to visit the 3rd Street Clayworks pottery booth right away. Two different artists, at two different booths, told me it was on the corner ahead. The artists were willing to point me there because that’s where they went to learn about pottery a decade ago. Plus, they said I could watch a demonstration.
My friend Kaleigh and I knew which booth they were talking about immediately. The pottery was amazing and you could tell it was made by a pro.
A pretty smiling woman with long blonde hair greeted me right away. She calls herself The Mud Hussy.
AUDIO: Click HERE to hear The Mud Hussy’s story in her own words.
We started out with a light conversation about the classes and her students at 3rd Street Clayworks.
“I call myself The Mud Hussy. I’m not really a hussy. I just like to poke fun at myself.”
The Mud Hussy said, “3rd Street Clayworks is an art school. We offer eight week classes and 16 week classes.”
The eight week class is only $175, with no extra fees for supplies.
“You get one three-hour instructed class per week and then you get free open studio time to come in and practice. The price includes all of the equipment that you need, all of the kilns and firing, the electricity that’s involved, the gas that’s involved, the glazes, clay… everything you need.”
Never touched the stuff? That’s ok.
“Everybody is at a different level when they’re starting out. We have very few ceramic geniuses that just walk in and can make something wonderful.”
Just like everything else in life, success means experimenting and practicing.
“It’s more of a long-term process. You would go in. You would throw something on the wheel. Then, you would have to let it dry. Trim it. Then, you fire it for the first disc firing. Then you glaze and then you fire to a certain hardness, depending on what kind of clay you’re using. And that can take a turn-around of up to a month.”
You can get lost in it and get rid of the stresses of the day.
The Mud Hussy says the students become their own community as they learn and help each other.
“I like to have the young professional type people in, in the evenings because they’re looking for something to relax and relieve that stress.”
Hussy says she has students from 16 to 75-years-old.
“One of our oldest students is 75-years-old. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He comes in to use it as therapy.”
It’s therapy for The Mud Hussy too… maybe more so for her than for her students. She enlisted in the military right after high school.
“I’m not as young as I look. I’m actually a veteran of the United States Marine Corp.”
After she returned to the U.S., she had a hard time adjusting.
“I did two different deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. Then, I came back and I was having trouble adjusting and I just took a class when I was living in Texas. And then I moved back home here and I took another class and here I am.”
The Mud Hussy teaches beginning classes now (which I will definitely be signing up for very soon).
“I realized that I am a person of service in my personal and professional life. So, this is just another way that I can reach out to my community and effect the change locally.
Teaching obviously works for her. She glows while talking about her students. I don’t know about you, but I’m motivated to take her class now. Help her out and sign up or buy her pottery. All of the pictures are her pieces.
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