Meet our Instructors
Master Potter, Board Member
Meet Doug Hubbs, a true mountain man born and raised in Franklin, North Carolina. He's a man of many talents, from studying mathematics and art at Western Carolina University to working as an electrical contractor while pursuing his passions for pottery, storytelling, and food. Today, Doug teaches pottery at Southwestern Community College and Cowee Pottery School, and lives with his wife Patti in the Burningtown community. But above all, he loves making pots!
Wheel & Hand Building Instructor
Potter and Creator of Whimsical and Functional Pottery
Maria is a skilled potter with extensive experience in various pottery techniques, including wheel instruction, hand building, sculpting, kiln firing, creating glazes, and making pottery tools. Her involvement with the Cowee Pottery School and Master Class workshops shows her dedication to continuing to improve her craft.
Hand Building Instructor, Board President
My first experience with success as an artist was in first grade. My painting was chosen to be displayed in the Toledo Art Museum. This began a lifelong love of art. As a young mother I took sewing classes and made all my daughter’s Halloween costumes. I experimented with mixed media art, repurposing objects that were broken/beautiful and that held meaning for me. Almost seven years ago I took pottery classes, and I was hooked. I love making unique items and the people I’ve met along the way have been so encouraging. I am so excited to be a part of Cowee Pottery School and after a few years here (Wow, this area is GREAT!) I have seen some local artists rediscover themselves with clay. I have had more than one person without previous experience exceed my teachings as a pottery artist and I could not be happier about that! It makes me so happy that others have learned to love creating art with clay as much as I do. I hope to continue learning and making strange, wonderful pottery for the rest of my life. Hopefully here, in Cowee Valley.
Hand Building & Surface Design Instructor
Karen Smith has been practicing hand building for the past 11 years. She currently is teaching classes that focus on various ways potters can finish the surfaces of their pottery. These strategies include working with underglazes, carving, using resista, slips, sgrifitto, mishima, majolica, jomon, layered stencils and transfers. She also offers specialty classes such as animal sculpting, planters, birdbaths, coil building, and more. Karen makes the bucket glazes at the school and teaches the glaze classes.
Wheel Instructor, Board Member
Bio to come
Bio to come
Hand Building Instructor
Melanie Ruffin, St. Augustine Florida native FSU trained in Printmaker and Art Education Moved to NC in 2005 to raise sheep.
Hand Building Instructor, Board Member
Creating pottery has been a dream of mine for many years. I discovered pottery in college many moons ago however, work and life got in the way of fulfilling my dream. After retiring I decided it was time to get my hands back in the mud. I joined the Cowee Pottery School and began to learn everything I could about the craft. As a retirement gift, my husband built me a beautiful pottery studio where I now create as much as I want. After honing my skills a bit I decided to delve into the world of selling my work and Crowfoot Pottery was born.
Cowee Pottery School
Hand Building and Wheel Instruction