Rhythm and Roots was a different experience for  me this year because I got to see it from a vendor’s point of view. My sister, Katie, is an artist from Pigeon Forge (Coincidence??? I think NOT!!!) who specializes in throwing and carving. For those of you who don’t know, you quite literally throw a piece of clay onto a potter’s wheel. I would love to record her throwing one day just so everyone could see the magic happen. Once again, I hope that’s a question on Jeopardy because now we’re all prepared to answer, “What is throwing, Alex!” I would also like to add that my parents tried to make potters out of us both and sadly the only artistic talent I possess is sarcasm. Many times in the winter my dad would drive us to Arrowmont in Gatlinburg and the instructors would praise Katie’s natural talent and praise me for continuing to show up.

You can find Katie on Facebook as Bear Mountain Pottery to purchase items for yourself or others. Christmas is coming, y’all! She is currently working on an Etsy shop but taking pictures of each piece and uploading them is more time consuming than anticipated. You’ll notice that she has made pumpkins for fall, snowmen and winter themed pieces, and of course you’d be missing out if you didn’t get a coffee mug or luminary. As sister of the artist (I plan on phrasing it that way when she’s famous) I have some one-of-a-kind pieces and in case you’re ready to die of jealousy… she’s making me a full set of dishes as a wedding gift.

Let’s start with the pumpkins. I love the traditionally scary Jack-O’-Lanters but the happy faces are more friendly for tiny humans. The Jack Skellington’s are from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and I think they are some of her best pieces to date. I would have taken more pictures but a lot of them had sold before I got there. I have a large one in my kitchen that “got messed up” according to Katie. The glaze dripped down his face instead of evenly coating the clay. Personally, I think it makes him look more scary so I gladly took him off Katie’s hands. More for me!


I adore the snowmen she makes. The last picture in this series shows a snowman mug. Their little hats come off! I drink cocoa out of my mug on Christmas morning. Such a treat! I also think that the trees she carves are timeless. They look amazing year-round.


Lastly, these are the every day items I can’t live without. My coffee mugs are sturdy, gorgeous, and dishwasher safe. The paranoid sister that I am, I wash all my pottery by hand anyway. I can’t wait to use my soup mugs pictured below. I want to have a few friends over to watch a football game and make a big pot of chili. I also use them for cereal, oatmeal, or a large cup of coffee if I need enough energy to jump start Vegas.


If you can believe it, these leaf plates are even more stunning in person.


We use her bowls for eating, of course, but they’re also spread around my house to hold spare change, keys, potpourri, or fruit.


The moonshine jugs are decorative or functional depending on how many friends you have in low places (or high places if you ask me). Buy yourself some overalls with a large front pocket and then go grab a Bear Mountain Pottery moonshine jug. You could also just buy a jug. Totally up to you. I just like overalls and think everyone should own a pair.


Here’s her pretty face in case you don’t know her. She weighs 7 pounds soaking wet with all of her clothes on and is the coolest person I know.


If you like what you see, leave Katie an encouraging word on her Facebook page here or search “Bear Mountain Pottery”. You could order some Christmas gifts or something to spruce up your own home! As you can see, I’m ridiculously proud that my sister can make such beautiful things out of what is essentially dirt. I’ll do another shameless post when she makes more of her Christmas pieces. Thank you to everyone who came to Rhythm and Roots to show your support! I’ll do a separate post on R&R tomorrow.

Until next time,



  1. Beautiful creative stuff. The Snowman and Christmas stuff is so ‘Christmassy’ the trees are ethereal. Would have loved to have seen these when we visited Pigeon Forge in May. I’m pottery mad too though only a beginner. I did get Smoky Mountain bear items 🙂 tho not hers.

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