The Great Smoky Mountains are dotted with small towns whose storied histories are filled with a rich mountain culture that reflect the ancient natural beauty of these haze-covered hills. From the very beginning of Smoky Mountain civilization, people have been creating handcrafted items like pottery. And those traditions have continued and evolved throughout the years, with local artisans preserving their community\u2019s important heritage to this day.\u00a0 Long before studios and galleries popped up across the Smokies, artists and craftspeople created art for practical everyday uses like plates and bowls for eating, quilts for staying warm, and even corn husk dolls to keep the children entertained. From weaving and spinning and blacksmithing to quilting, painting, and \u2013 of course \u2013 pottery, the artistic traditions of the Smoky Mountains are alive and well today. Discover one-of-a-kind inspiration (or even take home your very own piece of the Smoky Mountains) at these local pottery galleries all throughout the Smokies.\u00a0 Different Drummer Pottery At Different Drummer Pottery in Maggie Valley, NC, you\u2019ll find Terrance Painter, a member of the Piedmont Craftsmen and potter for more than 30 years. Winning many awards, he combines his first love of drawing and painting with pottery to execute landscape scenes on clay forms. He and his wife, Anita, have also written a book with the message of hope and inspiration titled, \u201cCentered, Inspiration from the Hands of the Potter\u201d.\u00a0 The studio is located in an old log cabin, giving a nod to the history of the Maggie Valley area. As a working studio and gallery in operation since 1980, Different Drummer Pottery is always open for guests to come in and watch. Swing by to see the latest pottery project Terrance is working on and shop his beautiful pieces of art!\u00a0 Alewine Pottery Alewine Pottery in Gatlinburg, TN showcases incredible handmade pottery, offering up mugs, vases, bowls, baking dishes and more. In his signature style, potter Robert Alewine gets creative with imprinted artistic designs whose leaf shapes and colors echo the natural beauty of the surrounding Smoky Mountains.\u00a0 After taking an art class in college and falling in love with making pottery, Robert began studying with notable potters like Bob Munro, Lewis Snyder, and Charles Counts. Soon enough, he moved to Gatlinburg where he continues to create and sell his stunning pottery today. You can visit him at his studio and gallery on 623 Glades Road.\u00a0 Judy Jones Pottery Discover some of the most unique and custom designed pottery in Gatlinburg, TN at Judy Jones Pottery. Each piece is individually hand thrown on the potter\u2019s wheel, which means that no two items are alike. You\u2019ll find everything from bowls, jars, and teacups to bird feeders, fountains, and so much more! And all of Judy\u2019s pieces are even oven, dishwasher and microwave safe.\u00a0 Judy takes the time to talk to you about your piece, telling you the story behind it as well as how to care for it. Purchasing a piece of pottery from Judy Jones comes with a personal experience that will leave you with lasting memories.\u00a0 Mud Dabbers Pottery Located in the mountains of Balsam, NC, Mud Dabbers Pottery is a fully functioning studio and gallery that is family owned and operated since 1988. When you visit, you\u2019ll be inspired by the local potters as they work right there in the open studio space. Watch them throw the clay onto the wheel then use their hands and special tools to create magic out of thin air.\u00a0 Constantly creating new pieces, the artists at Mud Dabbers have a steady stream of pottery to choose from. Shop for creative and handcrafted items like mugs, vases, bowls, magnets or even a playful garden gnome!\u00a0 BrandyWine Pottery Influential artist Brandy Ward, together with her husband, Jason, owns BrandyWine Pottery in Gatlinburg. She designs and creates functional pottery whose beauty is inspired by the natural surroundings of the Smoky Mountain forests. Each piece is hand thrown and finished with 4 to 8 glazes that are sprayed and layered to create truly one-of-a-kind pieces of art.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Whether you\u2019re looking for a vase, bowl, goblet, tea set, or custom-made piece, every item is different. You\u2019ll know you\u2019re getting something that no one else will have when you choose one of the impressive pieces at BrandyWine Pottery.\u00a0 Buie Pottery A great piece of pottery is both a gorgeous work of art and a fully functional piece of stoneware that you can use every day and even put in the oven, dishwasher, or microwave! And you\u2019ll find exactly that at Buie Pottery in Gatlinburg, TN. Locals and tourists alike head to this chop for gorgeous handcrafted stoneware that comes in a charming display of colors that range from golden hues like honey brown to bold shades of onyx, burgundy, cobalt, turquoise and more. Join host of the Gateway to the Smokies Podcast, Joseph Franklyn McElroy, in this episode as he talks with Terrance Painter about pottery, art, and growing up in the Smoky Mountains!