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Mystic Mud

Potter finds wide interest in her work of ‘unexpected color’

If it wasn’t for the goats, Trudi Klinger would get a lot more work done.

But someone — usually Klinger — lets Willow and Petunia in and the two pygmy goats take over the studio. They eat clay trimmings off the floor. They go for the finished clay bowls awaiting firing on a row of shelves, prompting Klinger to run for the “goat protectors” to block them. They eat paper, on which orders are often written.

“I’ve had to call accounts and say, ‘I’m sorry but our goats ate your order,’” Klinger says, laughing. “If I didn’t let them in, I’d get more done. But they’re just too funny.”

Even with the goats, Klinger is getting a lot done these days. Her Mystic Mud Studio in Odell is in its ninth year and she’s scrambling to keep up with the ever-growing demand for her signature pottery. During holiday and special event weekends, she has nearly a steady stream of customers to her out-of-the-way showroom in Odell. Her brightly-colored pottery with fruit motifs can be found in more than 100 galleries in nearly every state in the U.S. And this month, her work is even featured on billboards on Seattle buses.

“I am so busy all the time,” Klinger says. “I don’t really have a chance to sit back.” Even a few short years ago, she never imagined it would be this way.

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