Mudslingers hosting stop in Chautauqua Pottery tour

Sarah Zielonka will participate in this year’s pottery tour.

During this year’s Chautauqua Pottery tour, Ron Nasca at 18 Water St., Fredonia will host work by Ted Lee, Jake Swanson, Amy Snyder and Sarah Zielonka. Nasca opened the doors of Mudslingers in 2004. He attended Fredonia State and studied ceramics with Marvin Bjurlin. He describes himself as a “devout functionalist” whose work is strictly stoneware. The studio at 18 Water Street in Fredonia hums throughout the day.

Below is information about some of the participating artists that he will be hosting.


Lee noted his wife gave him pottery lessons as a gift over 10 years ago and after taking the classes at Mudslingers he was hooked.

“For the past few years I’ve been working with marbled clay and am still exploring by working with different colored clay bodies. I’ve been most pleased with work from the electric and wood-soda kilns but have gotten nice results with gas and wood firings, too. Pottery is still a hobby, but I think of ceramics and art every day and am very fortunate to be a part of an excellent pottery community,” he said. .

Submitted Photos Ted Lee will participate in this year’s pottery tour.

Lee is a professor of biology at SUNY Fredonia where he works with students interested in careers in the health professions. “This is also very rewarding, and I’ve worked with many terrific students. Several students have volunteered at the Empty Bowls fundraiser. I’ve also taken and will be taking students to Honduras to conduct medical brigades with Honduran physicians. Many of my fellow potters have donated pieces to a fundraiser that obtains money to pay for the medicine and medical supplies used on these brigades.”


Snyder is an Occupational Therapist working for the Early Intervention Program and Visiting Nurse Association. Her journey with clay has been therapeutic and she is grateful to be a part of the Chautauqua Area Potter’s community.


Zielonka noted she is interested in ceramics as a way to follow a narrative, a shared experience between the maker and the user. “Primarily, I use the potter’s wheel to make functional stoneware, experimenting with texture, form and color,” she said. “I’ve always shared a studio with my pets and find all animals fascinating, so some come through into my pottery. My first successful ceramic piece was a pinch-pot bird I gave my grandmother in high school, and I feel like I’ve been trying to find its spirit ever since. Clay is such a beautiful material to work with, accepting our efforts to shape it, but always keeping its own energy and dominating our efforts when it wants. Clay keeps me centered, showing unexpected beauty, making me grateful for all things fragile and timeless.”

This is by Amy Snyder, who will participate in this year’s pottery tour.

Tour Chautauqua County on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to visit local potters in their studios, learn about their process and see new work available for purchase. Studios include: Mudslingers (Ron Nasca with Ted Lee, Amy Snyder, Jake Swanson, Sarah Zielonka) at 18 Water St., Fredonia; Lisa Eppolito with Jess Simmons and Ann Mormile at 261 Seymour St. Fredonia; Marcia Merrins with Paula Coats at 42 Rosalyn Court, Fredonia; Marvin Bjurlin with Randy Crawford, Linda Currier, Sally Danforth and Joe Moosman at 25 Maple Ave., Fredonia; Jim and Pat Reno at 6007 Route 54, Dewittville; and Audrey Dowling, Portage Hill Art Gallery, 6439 Portage Road, Westfield.

For details, see the Facebook page Chautauquapotterystudiotour.


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