About MC2Pottery


Michele Paladino Smith
Michele Paladino Smith is a native of Atlanta. She graduated from West Georgia College with a BA in Studio Arts. She was attracted by the lure of the corporate world and the promise of a steady paycheck instead of pursuing an artistic career. So she went to work in a sterile, structured, corporate environment and neglected her creative side. Even though she enjoyed art and dabbled in it occasionally, Michele never found the perfect expression of her artistic interests until she discovered the versatility of clay.

Michele came to ceramics in a roundabout way. Her husband introduced her to the artistry of bonsai and the Atlanta Bonsai Society. Because she loved gardening bonsai appealed to her. But she soon found herself attracted to the pots these tiny trees were in more than the trees themselves. This interest began a quest to find out about clay.

Michele volunteered at Zoo Atlanta and worked closely with the animals in the Educational Animal Programs Department and with the Horticulture Department for many years. This experience and love for nature has become a strong influence in her art works.

She joined Mudfire Clayworks in 2002 and began her quest in clay. Michele has taken classes from Rick Berman, Deborah Fritts, Ron Meyers, Akira Sataki and many others. In 2008 Michele left the corporate world and is now a full time potter. She now lives in East Tennessee where she has built her own studio. She continues to grow and develop a unique body of work at this beautiful location in the Smokey Mountains.

Artist Statement
“I am a true champion of the environment and clay allows me to express my love of nature in a fluid and elegant form.”
“I am amazed by how versatile clay is. Before I came to clay my artistic endeavors felt boring and flat. I want my work to reflect the quiet beauty of a walk in the woods. Many people walk through the woods and never look up to see the beautiful artistry made by the branches of the trees. They may never notice the different textures of the tree bark and the shapes of the leaves. I stop to enjoy the beautiful gradation of colors in the flowers and the amazing colors of the insects, birds and animals all around us. I marvel at the uniqueness of everything natural and strive to bring that to life in my work. At first glance a herd of animals may all look alike. However, if you are quiet and study the group you begin to notice the subtle differences that make up the individuals in this gathering and so each one becomes unique. I want people to connect with my work on this natural level. There are no two pieces just alike. I strive to allow every piece to have its own individual qualities making it unique and special."

Collections, Galleries and Exhibits:
North Carolina Arboretum Shop
Boones Creek Potters' Gallery
SOLO EXIBIT - Objet d'art Gallery October 2013
2nd PLACE - National Juried Mug & Cup Exhibition 2013
North Carolina Arboretum Permanent Collection
Knoxville Bonsai Society Show 2006 -2013
Mid-Appalachian Bonsai Show 2007 - 2013
Atlanta Bonsai Society Show and Sale 2005 - 2012
Silver Comet Café Art Exhibit 2006
Crosses for Honduras 2005
National Arboretum Bonsai Pot Exposition 2005
Mudfire Gallery “Put a Lid on It”, Decatur, GA 2007
Mudfire Gallery Holiday Show, Decatur, GA 2004, 2005 - 2011
Paideia “Art Visions” Atlanta, GA 2008 -2011
Mudfire Teapot Show, Decatur, GA 2004, 2005
Zoo Atlanta Beastly Feast 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Mudfire “CLAY-TL” Show 2008
National Bonsai Foundation Spring Kusamono Exhibit 2008
Avondale Autumn Fest 2008
Atlanta Art Institute Decatur 2009
Alabama Clay Conference, 2008
West Georgia Alumni Exhibition 2009, 2011
Georgia National Fair Fine Arts Competition 2009 1st, 2nd & 3rd place; Purchase Award
Georgia National Fair Fine Arts Competition 2010 1st Fine Crafts Div.; 1st & 2nd
Selected Feature Wall Pieces; 2nd Functional Div.; Purchase Award
Nashville Bonsai Society Show and Sale 2009 -2011, 2013
Bonsai at the Monastery, Conyers, GA 2010
Mary and Martha’s 2010, 2011
Fired Works 2011- 2013
Macon Arts Alliance Gallery “Cracked Pots” 2011
Objet d’art Gallery, Peachtree Corners, Atlanta, Ga. 2012, 2013
Rose Center Gallery Morristown, TN 2012, 2013

Bonsai Journal of American Bonsai Society; Volume 44, Number 1; 2010 “Pottery with a Southern Style”
National Bonsai Federation Desktop Calendar 2010
Macon Magazine April/May 2011 “Fired Up”
Fired Works Brochure 2011

If you are interested in seeing more or purchasing work please email Michele Smith.
Feel free to follow her on facebook.

Charles Smith
Charles Smith is a native of Atlanta Georgia. He was drafted and served in the Army as a MP with a tour in Viet Nam. He is the father of 2 children, Gina and Ricky. He graduated from Georgia State University in 1982 with a major in Business. Charles’ father was an extraordinarily gifted wood carver and Charles learned to appreciate wood, trees and art from him. When he left the service Charles began doing architectural mill work which required his creativity and knowledge of wood. He pursued this line of work for 9 years. To support his family better he left his mill working job and joined Delta Airlines.

On a trip to a flea market in 1989 Charles happened on a vendor selling bonsai trees. Charles had to have one and this began his passion for growing bonsai. Charles joined the Atlanta Bonsai Society to learn about the horticultural aspects of keeping these trees in good health. As the years progressed his passion for bonsai increased. He attended many workshops and conventions. One workshop was about making bonsai containers. Charles decided being a potter looked like a lot of fun and began to search for lessons. In 2002 he joined Mudfire Clayworks where he learned the art of pottery. He became a studio assistant to learn more about how a pottery studio works from the ground up.

In 2005 Charles retired from Delta Airlines and became a full time potter. His first hand knowledge of the art of bonsai has made him an excellent bonsai potter. His studio experience has given him an excellent understanding of the mechanics of clay and glazing. Although Charles’ concentration is on bonsai pottery he is also a very talented clay artist.

Charles is currently working in his ceramic studio, MC2 Pottery, in eastern Tennessee and continues to grow and create work at this beautiful mountain location.

Artist Statement
“I enjoy the quiet solitude that bonsai and pottery embrace."
“I was an only child and learned early that I was my best company on many occasions. I loved books, movies and any self-sustaining activity. Bonsai requires patience and a lot of one on one time with nature. I enjoy walking in the woods and observing the natural way trees grow. I look for ways to improve my bonsai trees by mimicking what I see in nature. The art of bonsai is to be able to transport the viewer to a memory of a tree they can relate to. Every tree tells its story of storms, drought, hardships or health. Part of the viewing experience is to enhance the tree by putting it in the most complementary container, one that helps to tell the story and not detract from the experience. Pottery is also a quiet, individual activity that allows me to get lost for hours in the studio envisioning the trees that will go into my containers. I look forward to my hours of contemplative time in the studio with clay. Both bonsai and pottery give me the chance to express my creative side and satisfy my desire for solitude.”

Collections, Galleries and Exhibits:
First American potter represented in Taikan Ten Show in Tokyo, Japan
North Carolina Arboretum Permanent Collection
Knoxville Bonsai Society Show 2006 - 2013
Mid-Appalachian Bonsai Show 2007 - 2013
Atlanta Bonsai Society Show 2005 - 2012
National Arboretum Bonsai Pot Exposition 2005
Mudfire Gallery “Mug Shot” Show Decatur, GA 2010
Mudfire Gallery Holiday Show Decatur, GA 2004 - 2010
Mudfire Gallery Teapot Show 2004, 2005
Zoo Atlanta Beastly Feast 2004, 2005
3rd National Bonsai Exhibition 2012 Rochester, NY

If you are interested in seeing more or purchasing work please email Charles Smith.
Feel free to follow him on facebook.