In the historic town of Alton, Felicia Breen and Chad Nelson, put hand to stoneware clay continuing the vision of the founders Ken and Brenda Barnett, who started Mississippi Mud back in 1983. In this classic pottery studio, functional stoneware ideal for everyday needs shares shelf space with decorative clay art that re-imagines pottery with inspired levels of creativity and originality.
Their popular line of ceramic fish is derived from molds taken from fish caught on hook and line. And their leaf-themed sculptures are designed from molds of indigenous leaves gathered from around the region. A trip to the Mississippi Mud gallery quickly reveals the beauty of a unique glazing process. And it surely won’t be far into your tour when you recognize that no two clay pieces are identical, and every handcrafted design is truly an original work of art.
For Felicia and Chad, craftsmanship for the real world and a complete dedication to their craft is simply their starting point. Every work of art they create is fired in the kiln of imagination and derived from a passion formed along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. Here, in one of the great American “river towns,” you’ll find a rich, local history and a beauty to behold, molded by wet hands and formed on the pottery wheels of Mississippi Mud.
Discover more Illinois artisans at Illinois Made.