Get to know our Artist Family!
Founder & Owner
The idea that became Blue Ridge Pottery probably started about seventy years ago. As a small child I grasped my mother’s hand and walked across a boggy Welsh pasture to the farm below where we watched farmer Hugh Morgan dip milk from a large frothy tank. He used a brown and worn pottery pitcher and dipped milk into the larger brown jug my mother had carried across the fields.
Pottery was just a part of life in 1940’s Wales; we drank from it, cooked in it and used it to carry our milk home to a tiny cottage in the Welsh Mountains. It was pottery of simple and useful shapes. It was usually brown, and perhaps in concert with the basic “gospel” values of the Welsh Valleys people it was “functional without adornment”.
Over the many years we have been in this location on Golden Horseshoe Road many things have changed. Children have grown up to have children and grandchildren of their own and have come back to help in the family business. We have grown to include much loved son-in-laws and adopted daughters. It is no longer one person but a committed group of artists making a living together and believing in their amazing combined talents. In 1998 we incorporated as Blue Ridge Pottery, Inc. and later enlarged the family ownership of the business.
This is a personal “Thank You” to all those who have supported us and have worked with us over the years and made this “Pottery in the Mountains” dream come true. Remember that Welsh boy that loves the mountains and likes to play in the clay or down at the stream. He’s still around. He may occasionally be sitting at the wheel making pots but look for him in the garden. He’s the one that’s all dirty, with one or two grand-daughters at his side, planting flowers and playing in the dirt.
Norma J. Caron-Ward
Owner & Artist
They say Home is where the Heart is. As a military dependent, I spent a lot of time moving about the country; Hawaii as a young child and all the compass points on the North American continent until we all “retired”. Except for Hawaii, I never found another “Heart Home” until I started traveling through the mountain valley where I now live. For years I passed my favorite spots along Route 33….the Pottery shop in an old historic Stage Coach Inn, a mountain hill farm surrounded by ponds of peaceful beauty, and an antiques shop across the highway from what would be the road to where I now live.
My “Heart” was always torn between my love of art (and the ways it helps to grow us through exploration and beauty) and my need to make a “living”. My dream continued to be to make art, create spaces, and to illustrate books for children with my water colored drawings, while working with a community of artists in a healthy and functional way. Of course, doing so while fulfilling my needs financially as well.
Twenty five years later my Home is where my Heart is. That potter is my husband, those artists are our “family”, and we all use our skills as artists to make our living. Our way of life allows us to walk our values, to share and to explore ways of functioning as whole human beings.
We enjoy sharing that way of life with all of you who visit our shop, celebrate weddings at the Golden Horseshoe Inn, refresh your spirits at Chestnut Hills Cottage or just come to this valley because it warms your heart and makes you feel at “Home” too. We’ll look forward to sharing some time with you in a really heartfelt way.
June 1990 just after my 17th Birthday I joined the British Army in the Royal Corps of Signals. Twenty three years later having travelled a good part of the world and served as a soldier in the United Nations, NATO and part of the coalition in the First and Second Gulf wars and Afghanistan in the fight against the global war on terrorism, I retired from the Army and moved over to The United States of America.
I was married to Emily on 24 Aug 2013 by Alun from the Blue Ridge Pottery. A few weeks after our wedding Alun invited me up to the pottery to "play in the clay" as he says, and I never left. To say I have found my true calling in life is an understatement. Who would have ever thought I would be able to make anything out of clay. I am truly thankful for a great many things in my life most importantly for a wonderful wife who supports me in my new passion and two amazing sons from a previous marriage to Michelle, who continues to be a good friend; Gavin, who will be 24 and John who will be 22, and the cutest grandson ever, Taylor who will be 3 this year (2015).
I wouldn't say that this is the best job in the world, as I don't see this as a job. I truly love every day in the pottery whether I'm dealing with the customers in the store which in itself is amazing, or if I'm in the studio doing demonstrations, or getting to make something I've never made before. I get to meet people from all walks of life from all over the world each with their own stories. My office has to be one of the best there is, set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, sat behind a wheel. Every day of the year is beautiful in it's own way. It is truly a magical place to live and "work".
Artist & Potter
Edgar Degas once said, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." I keep this quote in the back of my mind every time I create a piece of art. Being an artist doesn't just affect me, but it has a ripple effect that touches so many more lives than my own. When someone looks at my work, I want the piece to touch something in their heart that awakens them. What ever it may be, a memory, a friend, or something emotional. So when you ask me “why do I make art?” I’ll respond with, “I do art to impact and speak to others in a way that only art can”.
I was home schooled with my two siblings all the way up to my freshman year of high school. I took my first art class when I attended a public school as a freshman in 2014. I’ve fallen in love with art ever since and I am currently attending Alfred University where I’m getting a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts and a minor in Arts Management and Marketing. Following my graduation in 2022 I hope to attend grad school and eventually get my masters in Fine Arts.
Follow me on instagram: taylorart4u
Potter & Artist
Art has the power to transform, to illuminate, to educate, to inspire and motivate. Nature is remarkable in several ways and speaks volumes of inspiration.
I have always loved to sketch and watercolor paint. As a married mother of three, I enjoy realistic style painting at my kitchen table/studio in the late peaceful evenings. Homeschooling my three children for eleven consecutive years allowed me to explore different techniques and effective hands-on styles of teaching. Touching lives through teaching is an important motivator that drives me and is also my form of outreach and community involvement. If you want to keep something I believe you need to give it. Sharing creativity and teaching anyone art warms my heart and is fulfilling.
With my children now adults, my newest passion is playing in the mud and fire at Blue Ridge Pottery. Learning the creative and productive skills in pottery and then being able to share them keeps the process alive.The picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains that surround me are my daily inspiration for my pottery.The countryside and nature continues to awe and exhilarate.