At Arcadia, Stephanie Premich ’11 earned a B.F.A. in Interior Design and Ceramics with a minor in Business. She also studied abroad in Spain and with the Visual Artist in Italy Global Field Study course. Aspiring to become full-time makers, after graduation Stephanie and her husband Ryan Zajac ’11 (B.A. in Economics) purchased a studio and retail space in historic, downtown Pottsville, Pennsylvania. At their brick and mortar location, Premich and Zajac create a full line of Mud & Maker pottery and teach seasonal workshops for adults and children. Premich describes her current line of work as “focusing on the integration of multiple techniques and surface treatments, as well as introducing a level of wit and cleverness into unconventional yet functional pieces of pottery. Each piece has a natural, rustic aesthetic that is complemented by bright, glossy glazes. All of the glazes we mix in-shop are formatted specifically to incorporate image transfer techniques that can be found on bowls, mugs, plates and more.”
After being named “Must-See Maker” during the 2nd Street Festival by Philadelphia City Paper and co-winner of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen’s Mug Contest in 2015, Mud & Maker began to see more of their hard work and dedication beginning to solidify. Mud & Maker currently exhibits in 25-30 retail shows a year in the greater Philadelphia area, including Doylestown Arts Festival, Clover Market (Chestnut Hill, Bryn Mawr) and Art Star (Penn’s Landing). After participating in ACRE, Philadelphia’s Emerging Artist Program in February 2017, Premich’s pottery will be available in over fifteen different states through forty-five different stockists in addition to all BonTon stores statewide beginning in Spring 2017.
Premich credits her successes to a solid grassroots foundation: staying involved in her community is something she feels very passionate about. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for the Schuylkill County Visitor’s Bureau, she is also a founding member of the Celebrate Schuylkill Regional Arts Tour and community member of the “Lights On AfterSchool” Initiative, spending time with children ages 9-12 during after-school programs to work on STEM programs, hands-on pottery projects, and art history. As Mud & Maker continues to grow and evolve, Premich and Zajac plan to travel as much as they can and expand Mud & Maker into a larger studio space in eastern Pennsylvania.