Who we are...
In the mountains of western North Carolina, just over the hill from Asheville, lies the historic town of Weaverville. Stroll down Main Street and you may wander into this working pottery studio. As you step into the gallery you’ll see displays of pitchers, teapots, and tableware next to hand built vases, ceramic furniture and banjos. Beyond the wares are craftsmen hard at work. Potters Rob and Beth Mangum continue a creative tradition started by Rob’s parents over forty years ago.
Rob and Beth met as sophomore and freshman at North Carolina State University School of Design (now the College of Art and Design) where Rob studied graphics and illustration, and Beth focused on fibers and surface design. Beth grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, where she attended St. Agnes School. Rob began making pottery in his parents’ studio at Turkey Knob near Sparta, NC in the 70’s. In 1989, he and Beth formed their pottery studio after they graduated from Design School. Rob went on to receive a MFA from Indiana University. They moved to the Asheville area in 1997 and began creating work out of their Weaverville studio.
Western North Carolina's expanding art and craft scene has been a nurturing environment for Beth and Rob's creative pursuits. They also enjoy the area's great traditional music scene, as well as the endless mountain tops, valleys, and rivers to explore.
The Mangums feel fortunate to work every day with the clay, striving to find the union of form and function. They are inspired by the organic and structural aspects of nature, as well as the continuing evolution of our culture.
Rob and Beth's oldest daughter, Leah, studied art at Appalachian State University and exhibits her art at our gallery. You can find some of her work at her website, Solita Designs. Their other daughter, Page, also graduated from App. State in biology. She now lives in Charlotte and works as a scientist.
All of the work represented on this website and in their gallery was made in the studio by Rob and Beth and their production assistants Erin Janow, Liam Sawyer and Mallory Nuckols. Wheel thrown items are all made by Beth and Erin. Our other items are slab built and individually crafted by Rob, Liam and Mallory. All of the mixed media furniture, fountains, tiles, and ceramic instruments are hand built by Rob in our studio and in his wood shop adjacent to our kiln room. Glazing and firing is done by all. The firing is done in natural gas and electric kilns.
In 2015, they installed a 10kW solar system on the roof of their downtown studio. It generates 60% of the electricity they use.
To see some of Rob and Beth's older work go to the Archives page.
Go to our Youtube channel to see videos of us at work.
Main street Weaverville has a lot to offer. The dining alone is surprising for such a small downtown. There is the Well Bred Bakery with its eclair as big as your head. The Glass Onion, next door to Mangum Pottery, is one of the Asheville areas finer restaurants. There are three breweries in downtown Weaverville; Zebulon Artisan Ales directly across the alley behind our shop, Eluvium Brewing Company, also in the alley, and Blue Mountain Pizza. Everybody knows about Blue Mountain Pizza!
Weaverville is well known for its art and craft community. The Weaverville Art Safari, a self-guided studio tour, began in 2001 and has had a great influence on the town. Miya Gallery and Artisans on Main carry a lot of the work of the Art Safari participants. Also a lot of fun is Weaverville Art in Autumn, a juried arts and crafts festival that takes over Main Street, sponsored by the Weaverville Business Association.
Asheville has a lot to offer to those interested in pottery and crafts. To learn more about regional crafts and see a large display of local artists go to the Folk Art Center, on the Blue Ridge Parkway, run by the Southern Highland Craft Guild.
The Asheville Area Arts Council is an important resource for artists and regional arts organizations.
Another good resource for area goings on is Explore Asheville: .
We feel very fortunate to live and work in a community with so much awareness and support for the arts.
Mangum Pottery Studio and Gallery
16 N Main St.
Weaverville, NC 28787
toll free: 888-288-2112
Monday - Friday 9 - 5
Saturday 10 - 4
The Mangums at their Main Street Weaverville pottery shop.
Beth Mangum throwing at the pottery wheel.
Rob Mangum making tables out of clay.
Thirty six solar panels on the roof generate around 60% of the power necessary to run the studio.
Leah Mangum and some of her paintings.
The History of Mangum Pottery
Bet and Rob Jr. working in the first studio in the tiny basement of the house on Highway 21 outside Sparta, NC in 1976.
Robin's instrument building wood shop in the same basement. A dulcimer is being made on the workbench. Banjo hoop laminates dry, hanging from the ceiling.
Frank assembling a planter in the first studio. A technique tought to us by potter Lee Davis at John Campbell Folk School. The business at that time was called Peach Bottom Family Company, named after the mountains nearest by.
Bet working outside at the first Sparta studio.
Bet at the kick wheel. In the foreground is Rob's first slab pot, He got the idea from Tyrone Larson's demo in the Penland Potters book. The collar and lid were thrown by Robin.
Playing music for Charles Counts at a workshop in Rising Fawn, Georgia.
New Hampshire potter, David Robinson, had a big influence on the Mangums in the early days, especially Robin Sr., who was encouraged to start making larger pieces.
The family band.
Building the house at Turkey Knob, circa 1978. Robin learned how from a book and the whole family participated in the construction.
Bet enjoying the "foxfire" lifestyle at Turkey Knob by using the woodstove.
The studio in the basement at Turkey Knob. Glaze Day.
Robin pulling a cylinder.
The instrument shop in the Turkey Knob basement studio. Robin's first banjo sits to the right.
Doing a craft show in Greensboro, circa 1980.
Robin slip banding for sgraffito carving.
The wood kiln at Turkey Knob, constructed in 1984. It fired for several years and then was destroyed by a thermocouple malfunction during the process of converting the kiln to a computer controlled gas kiln. It was supposed to still be able to fire as a wood kiln as well.
Jr's Pots, a.k.a. Mangum Pottery of Raleigh. Rob Jr's first studio (on the left) opened in January of 1989 on the corner of Lenoir and McCullough Street in Raleigh. He and several friends from the Design School at N.C. State started Boylan Arts, a collective named after the neighborhood, Boylan Heights. This was when Beth fist started working in the pottery.
Rob at an art opening at Boylan Arts, inside the Mangum Pottery of Raleigh studio.
In 1990, Rob and Beth moved to Orange, Virginia. The studio was in the basement at first. Ben, the dog, strolls across the front yard.
Rob unloading ceramic tables from the kiln in the basement studio.
Rob and Beth exhibiting at Bele Chere in Asheville in 1990.
Beth learning to make pots in the basement studio in Orange, Va.
In 1993, Rob went to Graduate School to receive a MFA at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he continued his artistic pursuit and taught design fundamentals as a TA. Rob and Beth moved their studio in to an old corner store building in Bloomington. From there, they did the midwest craft show circuit and developed a regional market.
Beth working in the Bloomington, Indiana studio.
In September of 1997, Rob and Beth moved in to their current studio in Weaverville, NC.