Erik Haagensen


In America, we work too hard and don’t value play enough…to the point of being uncivilized, to the detriment of our families and our own psychological health.  We need to retreat from the sound-byte infotainment of our plastic McCulture.  We need to slow down, sacrifice for the future, and make difficult choices in this culture of convenience. Right now, I think it is very important to both be playful and to produce finely crafted objects.

 To make things by hand from clay is an act of rebellion, of intentional inefficiency, of retro and reflection, of refusing to cede it all to the machines.  I want to make things that make people laugh or be amused or playfully confused or quietly delighted.  I want to make things that make people slow down and appreciate the everyday, to reflect on their surroundings, and to think about where we are heading and how the aliens will view us a million years hence.


Through all of my adult life, I have been experimenting in the arts. Much of this has been rather silly and absurd, or Dada as they would have taught me to say in grad school. I graduated from a liberal arts university where I studied theology, art history, studio art, philosophy, psychology and business; all the while enjoying the many fine art museums of Washington DC.  Then, for most of the 90’s, I had an exhilarating day job in the fascinating world of enterprise software applications. Sadly my oodles of stock options were never worth anything.

 In 2001 my principal focus shifted to clay, when my sweetie and I founded MudFire Clayworks in Atlanta. For over ten years we taught every day, shared space with a fantastic group of artists, produced monthly gallery exhibits, and hosted top-notch artists for frequent workshops.  In 2013, we got tired of the big city, sold the studio to a group of artist friends, bought a farm in Appalachia, and headed to the hills to try our hands at organic farming while making pots full-time.