Hughes Pottery: Where clay dreams come true

Hughes Pottery

Hughes Pottery: Where clay dreams come true

Forest County | Allegheny National Forest & Surrounds

By Katie Weidenboerner-Deppen

The husband and wife team’s story is about a girl, a boy, some dirt, and a dream.

Charles and Rowan met at an art show they were both vendors. Married for the past 10 years, Charles said he knew she was the one when he taught her how to throw clay and she was so excited that she made 140 bowls.

“That’s when I knew she was a keeper,” Charles said.

Hughes Pottery

She would propose to him in 2007 in the same spot they had met nearly 10 years before. And they’ve been happily covered in mud ever since. 

Their studio, located behind their home on the main drag in Tionesta, is alive with creative energy. Charles stands behind the wheels and his hands never stop creating as he listens to music, effortlessly conversing with Rowan, customers, and friends who stop in to chat after being greeted by their official welcoming committee, an old black lab. 

Charles said he turns about 500-600 mugs every year. And turns about 125 pieces a week when he’s in the zone.

“I’m never tired of opening up the kiln. You never know what will be inside — a beautiful experience or something from Halloween,” Charles said. “The magic for me has always been going from a lump of clay to something under my fingers.”

Each piece is handmade, one at a time, on a wheel and the stoneware pottery produced in the studio has an everyday function given the unique glazes and style Hughes Pottery has become known for.

“We don’t make the kind of art that you put behind glass and never touch. We want our work to get covered in oatmeal, filled with your favorite wine and used to serve your grandmother’s famous sage and cornbread stuffing,” Rowan said.

Learn more about Hughes Pottery or leave a review/recommendation on their Wilds Cooperative of PA profile!

*Photos used in this article were taken by Katie Weidenboerner-Deppen as part of the Creative Makers of the Pennsylvania Wilds – A Traveling Public Art Show, which was partly funded by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.


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