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Mississippi Mud PotteryMississippi Mud Pottery was started in 1983 by Ken and Brenda Barnett in Alton IL. For the first few years Ken and Brenda rented spaces at two different locations in Alton while growing their pottery business. In 1989, Mississippi Mud Pottery had outgrown its space once again inspiring Ken and Brenda to build our present building. Ken and Brenda continued to operate Mississippi Mud Pottery until 2006, when they retired. In 2006 Felicia Breen and Chad Nelson purchased and now operate Mississippi Mud Pottery. Today they are able to continue the pottery tradition started by Ken and Brenda while adding many new things. 

The work currently made at Mississippi Mud Pottery represents our passion for ceramics and the tradition from which we extend. Functional stoneware has a long tradition, and we are proud to be contributing our unique flavor to the continuum of ceramics.

Our current work consists primarily of functional stoneware, and ceramic fish. Functional, well-crafted stoneware pottery is the main focus, and provides the foundation for our more exploratory work. Stoneware is a medium that is conducive to almost any shape and size of functional vessel one can imagine. This allows us to create pieces that are enjoyable to use in everyday settings, in addition to objects that are decorative. The sense of pleasure from using these pieces is important to us because we want everyone to share in the passion in which we take so much pride.

The ceramic fish that we create are derived from actual fish that we have caught on a hook and line. After making a mold from the fish, we press clay into it, reproducing a likeness of the fish. After carefully cleaning up the pieces and firing them, they get glazed in many varieties of surfaces. Some reference actual fish colorations, while others are glazed in more artistic colorings.

Nothing we make is completely unfounded in ceramics. However, the twist that we put on our ceramics is very unique, and it allows us to speak to a multi-faceted tradition. Finally, the possibilities that clay offers us makes us more passionate by the day for continuing this tradition.

Felicia and Chad both went to SIUE and completed their bachelor of fine art degrees. Felicia graduated in 2005, and Chad graduated in 2004. Today they continue to work daily creating new pieces at Mississippi Mud Pottery.

Recent Fairs and Events

2013, 2012 Art in the Park

Columbia, MO

2012 Rockport Art Festival
Rockport, TX

2008,2012 Schlafly Art Outside
Maplewood, MO

2011-2013 Best of Missouri Market
St. Louis, MO

2010,2011, 2013 Cedarhurst Craft Fair
Mt. Vernon, IL
*2010 Best of Ceramics

2010-2013 Midsummer Arts Faire
Quincy, IL
*2012 Best of Show
*2011 Award of Excellence
*2010 Award of Excellence

2010-2013 The Art Fair at Queeny Park
Queeny Park, MO
*2010 Honorable Mention 3D

2008-2010, 2012 Art in the Park
Highland, IL

2010-2013 Effingham Artisans Fair
Effingham, IL

*2013 Best of show
*2011 Best of Show
*2010 Best of Show

2007- 2013 Rend Lake Wine and Art Festival
Wittington, IL
*2012 Merit Award
*2010 Best of Demo
*2009 Best of Demo
*2008 Honorable mention Best of Demo

2009,2010 Great Performers of Illinois
Millennium Park Chicago, IL

2009 Illinois Artisans June Window
James R. Thompson Center Chicago, IL

2009,2010 Missouri Mosaics Festival for the Arts
St. Charles, MO

2009-2011 Taste of Champaing
Champaign, IL

2009 Downtown Festival of the Arts
Champaign, IL "


310 E Broadway Alton, IL 62002 Phone: (618) 462-7573