Love Of Mud Leads To Creative Outlet For Couple

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Remember when you were a kid? Playing in the mud was a lot of fun, and there was just something soothing about it, too. The neat feeling you got from squishing the stuff through your hands or toes.

Pine potters, Carole and Alan Snyder get to play in the mud every day now as adults.

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Between them, Carole and Alan Snyder have 77 years of pottery experience. The couple recently relocated to Pine from Payson to move into a larger studio space.

"When I was a kid, Mom said I loved playing in the mud," laughs Carole.

Have you ever met one of those people who just gush with enthusiasm over their trade or job? Well, Carole's one of those people. She describes the feelings she gets from creating and making different types of pottery.

"It's so inspiring, the excitement of creating something from really nothing, and making something beautiful, it's addicting," she explained.

Carole started working with pottery about 33 years ago when she began dating her husband Alan.

He's been making pottery for about 44 years.

"I like making pieces that are multifunctional. I like coming up with an idea and turning it into something that's not only beautiful, but functional," said Alan.

He enjoys making large platters. They look great hanging on the wall and can also be used as serving platters at dinner parties.

The couple live in Pine. That's where their new studio is, too. They recently moved from Payson when they needed more space for their kilns and other equipment.

Some of Carole's favorite pieces are what she calls spirit wraps. "An Indian once told us you can't find spirits, and one day I was rolling a slab of clay on a table and a piece fell on the floor, and I thought, I must be able to do something with that," she recalls. She looked at it, picked it up and thought she could design a type of wrap out of the clay. "They wrap and comfort your spirit," she says.

The couple shares their love of pottery with friends and customers. They've made a living from their work. Alan also shares his love of pottery with students at the community college, where he teaches pottery once a week.

If you'd like to see their work, you can. The Snyders will have some creations on display during the upcoming ‘Neath the Rim Studio Tour, April 29-May 1. They'll be showing at stop No. 23, 1308 E. Cedar Lane in Payson. The Snyders' phone number is (928) 476-3686.

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