The Mud-Pie Dilemma

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Name The Mud-Pie Dilemma

The universal dream of doing the work you love and earning a living at it forms the heart of this current edition of a book that has become a favorite of many potters. This fresh account of The Mud-Pie Dilemma, written by John Nance, updates by 25 years the classic story of Tom and Elaine Coleman and their struggles to create a successful, loving marriage and family while master potter Tom seeks to realize his extraordinary potential as a ceramic artist.

For more than three decades, studio potters Tom and Elaine Coleman have sustained themselves and raised a family through their work in clay. It has involved major changes in geography, and in ways, styles and means of living and working. Despite the difficulties and occasional setbacks, the Colemans have found it to be a personally and creatively gratifying career. Author John Nance, who met the Colemans 25 years ago when he documented their work in the first edition, brings their story up to date in this latest edition.

The first edition of this book ended with them achieving high artistic and critical success, and low financial rewards.  This new edition extends their story from 1977 to 2002, from a farmhouse and studio in Canby, Oregon, to a house with swimming pool and studio in the desert outside Las Vegas, Nevada.

A new chapter documents how their lives and work have changed and grown over a quarter-century, and 75 new photographs show the dazzling results. Tom’s work achieves new heights of artistry and recognition, and Elaine emerges as a notable artist in her own right. The Mud-Pie Dilemma also provides inside information about the craft and art of working in clay–including recipes and tips for 40 of Tom’s much-praised glazes.

About Tom & Elaine
In 1964 Tom and Elaine Coleman found each other when they both went to The Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon.  Elaine went for one and a half years and then got a job while Tom finished school. They got married in 1967 and Tom graduated with a Fine Arts Degree in 1968.

In 1972 they moved out of Portland to Canby, Oregon with their two boys and set up their pottery studio. In 1987 they moved to Henderson, Nevada just out of Las Vegas. From graduation till now Tom Coleman has been a full time studio potter. They opened Coleman Clay Studio in Las Vegas from 1994 to 2001. This was a studio for throwing classes and private studio spaces and a gallery. Tom now works in his studio at home and does many workshops and shows each year. The desert has greatly influenced his work just as the Northwest did when living there.

Elaine did mostly slab work in the 70’s and handbuilt pieces. In 1975 she began incising some of Tom’s porcelain pots. Tom and Elaine have been collaborating on their work for the last 35 years. Tom throws all of her pieces now and she does the surface design. Elaine does some workshops with Tom and many exhibitions.

Other Information Hardcover | 217 Pages