We are potters through and through. Trained through formal ceramic apprenticeships, Alex and John’s hands spent thousands of hours in the clay, making hundreds of the same form at a time and building an intimate familiarity between maker and material. We make a full range of dinnerware and other functional objects—from plates and bowls to mugs and serving pieces. Our collection is made from regionally-sourced stoneware clay and fired in a gas kiln, with food-safe glazes made in-house. The collection is unfussy, durable, timeless—made to use every day, for a long, long time.
Alex Matisse finished an apprenticeship in the North Carolina Piedmont and set out on his own to make pottery on a gloomy old Madison County tobacco farm in 2009.
Meanwhile, 23-year-old Connie Coady was milking goats 8 miles away as the crow flies, deep in an existential crisis.
They met at the farmer’s market—she was selling cheese—and a few weeks later she moved in, Tom Wait’s "Come on Up to the House" blasting from the record player.
She didn’t really understand the pottery thing, but she liked Alex and was in one of those just walk through the door if it's open sorta places. Alex made a lot of pottery and fired it in a big wood kiln in that little holler, but the workshop felt lonely. In 2013, their friend John Vigeland came to stay for the weekend. They all drank a lot of wine, read a lot of poetry, sat by the fire—they were 24 and all hopelessly romantic, after all—and before the friend headed home, he said, “I’d really like to figure out how to work together.”
So that’s what they did.
A decade later (wow, time flies), East Fork is home to a growing team of potters, glazers, trimmers, sales team members, bookkeepers, babies and more. We make objects that we see a need for and use in our own homes. Our store in Downtown Asheville sells our dinnerware alongside other beautiful, useful objects made by friends and strangers near and far. We throw dinner parties, cooking classes, and trunk shows. We raise funds and awareness for people and organizations working to make our communities more equitable and just.
It’s a wild world out there, but a tender, beautiful one too, made ever more sacred by our daily rituals of eating, drinking, and coming together around the table.