THE COLD MOUNTAIN POTTERY STORY

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Jim in 1979

Cold Mountain Pottery was founded in 1978 when Jim Morrison returned from 5 years in Japan where he had lived on the land, renovated an old farm house, worked with well-known Japanese potters, built a kiln, and accidently obtained a Masters Degree in Japanese Literature. "Cold Mountain" refers to the Chinese Taoist poet Han Shan (Kanzan in Japanese).

For many years Cold Mountain Pottery operated on a local level and fired a wide variety of functional stoneware made by Jim and his apprentices. In 1991 the company expanded to occupy a 7000 sq. ft. space and built a large car kiln to cope with increasing demand. The pottery was being shipped nationwide and Jim's place settings and dinnerware were in large demand. There were over 120 different items being produced in a variety of 11 different patterns. A high-end crafts and pottery gallery was operated alongside the factory.

In 2001, Jim and his partner and wife Debra Dudley decided they could no longer physically handle the effort of large scale pottery production with retail sales so they sold the production facility and moved to a smaller studio and developed a line of unique stoneware mugs that feature Deb's original graphics (she retired from a 20-year career as a graphic designer to become a potter).

With over 100 designs and counting, the mugs are beginning to be in great demand all over the West and recently, the Midwest. We now ship to all 50 states and no two stores, shops or galleries stock the same mix of mugs. We have made Rocky Mountain wildlife mugs for the western states, windmills for the plains states, loons for the northwoods, manatees for Florida, and any number of custom designs, artwork, and logos for individual companies or resort areas.
 
 In April, 2013 we joined forces with A.W.A.R.E. Incorporated, a non-profit organization serving persons with disabilities in Montana since 1976.  Our new mission was to keep on producing high quality mugs and pottery native to the Rocky Mountain West and at the same time provide community employment opportunities for the wonderful, cheerful folks from A.W.A.R.E.  We were very happy that our art and experience could benefit people with disabilities in this way. Unfortunately as a cost-cutting move in June of 2018, A.W.A.R.E. changed its policy regarding work opportunities and decided to eliminate the pottery from their business network. Although already retired, Jim and Debra have picked up the ball again and have begun making similar mugs for the wholesale market. They hope to soon be in a position to again employ people with disability in a meaningful way. We thank you for your support!

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  Jim Morrison and Deb Dudley.  Our mugs still feature Deb's original designs
A very special thanks goes out to all of our wonderful retail and wholesale customers for all of your support over the years!

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