Frequently Asked Questions

Caring for My Pottery:

Can I put my pottery in the dishwasher?
Yes! Treat it like you’d treat any other tableware, but perhaps with a little more love. 

How about the microwave?
Yep.  That too.

I use my plates every day and I’m noticing some scratches on their surface.  What should I do?
Because the glaze material is denser than some cutlery, cutlery marks might develop with frequent use - what your'e seeing is likely the metal from your cutlery leaving traces on your pottery, rather, than scratches in the glaze itself.  These marks can be removed with a scouring powder such as Bar Keeper’s friend, a little warm water, and a soft cloth.

Will the dishes stack in my cupboard?
Yes! Our plates and bowls are designed to stack neatly, and fit beautifully in dishwashers, too. 

Is our pottery food safe?
Yes, we do extensive testing to make sure our clays and glazes are safe for all your loved ones to eat from - babies and puppies included. 

If I break a plate or cup from a set, and purchase one to replace it, will it match the others?
Please keep in mind that these items are made by hand and that our glazes are mixed in house - it’s what gives the work its special character.  There might be a slight difference in color from firing to firing. Some of our glazes have a slightly wider rate of variability than others. That said, we work very hard to make things consistent and your replacement will be as similar to the original as possible. 

Visiting the Pottery:

Can we visit the pottery?
Yes! We are open by appointment on Fridays.  Please send an email to or call 828-222-0466 to schedule a tour.

Can we just drop on by?
As our potters are busy potting, we are unable to accommodate unscheduled visits to the pottery.  See above.

Can I bring my dog?
Sure! So long as you trust that they’ll stay fairly close and not get lost in the wild woods that surround us. 

Do you have wood-fired pots available?
We sometimes have a small selection of wood-fired pots available for purchase.  Please make an appointment to visit if you are interested in seeing them.

When will you be firing the wood-kiln again?
 Good question! We’re not too sure, but we'll let you know when we do. 

Do you make custom orders?
It depends.  Send an e-mail to and let us know what you’re thinking.

About the Makers:

Who made my pottery?
The East Fork Collection is made entirely by hand by East Fork Potters Alex Matisse, John Vigeland and our incredible team, led by Production Manager, Amanda Hollomon-Cook.  One-off pieces from the East Fork Guild are stamped with the name of their maker. 

Where did Alex & John learn to make pottery?
 Alex studied with Charlie Tefft at Guilford College and apprenticed with Matt Jones and Mark Hewitt.  John apprenticed with Daniel Johnston who also apprenticed with Mark Hewitt. 

Is Alex Matisse related to THE Matisse?

Can I apprentice at East Fork?
Though we are not currently hiring, we are always accepting applications from enthusiastic, hard-working people interested in apprenticing.  Read more about this process in the bottom of our About section.