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The Most Interesting Man in Berks

Oct 24, 2018 • by Chelsea Dziamba, Alvernia University
Wesley Muckey, Owner, Nolde Forest Pottery

Nolde Forest Pottery is a local pottery shop located in Berks County and has been operating for 24 years. The owner of Nolde Forest Pottery is Wesley Muckey. Muckey creates beautiful pottery which comes in a variety of pieces. He creates pieces like face jugs, Easter eggs, plates, pitchers, and more. He also takes ideas from his clients and creates beautiful pieces of art.

Muckey’s story is pretty inspiring itself. He attended Alvernia University where he studied Liberal Arts for 3 and a half years, then he dropped out. “I was working at another potterer and I was tired of that, and I was doing this [his own pottery] on the side and this got really really busy. So one day I just figured, I’m just gonna go for it. I’m going to leave school. That degree is great, but what’s it going to do for me? I wanted to be a potter,” Muckey says. He then went off to marry his wife, Amy, who owns the local Stein’s Flowers in Reading.

Oddly enough, pottery was not his first artistic encounter. “I was painting oil paintings since I was young. And we had a biology teacher at the high school that has a pottery shop, and one day he came down and asked if I wanted a job,” the potter says. Ever since that moment at 15, selling pottery has been the only job he has ever had. His interest in pottery started when he was in high school at Conrad Weiser. His art teacher introduced him to pottery after Muckey expressed his interest in it. Eventually, Muckey went off to create his own business in 1994. “I got married in ‘94, Amy got the flower shop in ‘94, and I started this,” Muckey says. The vast majority of his pottery are his own designs. He also looks at older pottery that can be found in museums to replicate. In fact, he has done a handful of replica pieces of old time pottery that museums sell in their gift. The creation of the pottery is pretty time-consuming in itself. “It takes like two or three weeks depending on the size for it to just dry,” Muckey says. From the sculpting to the kilning, then the glazing, it could take about a month for a piece to come together. “Everything is fired twice, so it’s fired in this kiln super hot, like a really high temperature, to make it sturdy. And then the glazes are put on and it’s taken to other kilns,” Muckey says.

The pottery Muckey creates can be ordered to be customized for special occasions like birthdays, weddings, awards, and birth announcements as well. Each piece is handcrafted and sculpted to satisfy each client’s needs. Muckey has also sold his pottery to some well-known people. These clients include Oprah, William H. Macy, Slash, Barack Obama, Bret Michaels, and more. The list can be found on his website at https://www.noldeforestpottery.com/ .

To visit Nolde Forest Pottery, you must set up an appointment. Muckey can we be contacted through email at [email protected]. Muckey’s artwork can also be viewed at events. These dates and venus can be found on his Nolde Forest Pottery’s website. This year he is doing four shows. You can also check out his gallery page that includes pictures of previous pottery that has been created. You will not be disappointed with what you see.

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