Martha Cooper, master potter (since 1966), graduated from Stetson University in 1972 with a degree in Fine Art. Her influences date back to her childhood in the Ohio River Valley where potteries like Rookwood and Roseville popularized multicolor pottery with floral decorations and pastel matte finishes.
She made clay pots as a child on the riverbank where her father fished on Sunday afternoons. She called it her tea party, but she was accustomed to making her teacups. After years of practice and a degree, she pursued a career in pottery in the Piedmont of North Carolina. She worked for many potters – Jugtown among the list – while she developed her own studio and forte.
Nathan has been around pottery his entire life and made pots at his mother’s studio since he was a toddler. He graduated from Gardner-Webb University in 1993 and began his career apprenticing with several master potters – Bill Stewart among his list. Now his mother and he have united at the Cooper Mays Studio. Their styles, though different, complement each other. One can peruse the Gallery at Cooper Mays and find something for just about any taste. Martha’s specialty is the floral brushwork, while Nathan’s sculptural visions create one-of-a-kind pieces that have become collectable in Galleries and privately.