LeAnne McQueen loves a pretty table. “I always had an obsession with setting the table since I was a little girl. My grandma and mother always had the china hutches full of cups, saucers, plates, serving pieces and I loved to riffle through them and find my favorites.”
Her inspiration is the South all around her. “Food is the center of family and fellowship here. From attention to the centerpieces, the hours put into food preparation, and the elaborate table settings – a Southern dinner party is an experience that is hard to match.” After graduating from college in 2009, she was working at her pottery in an old building in downtown Maryville, TN. After three years in the old shop, she had made the decision to go back to graduate school when an opportunity came along that she couldn’t pass up – the printing shop next door was closing its doors. She turned her small pottery shop of 750 square feet into a 3750 square feet studio.
I thought I would pour everything into it for five years and then reevaluate after that. In 2012 I opened up the teaching school of Studio 212 and founded McQueen Pottery in 2014. I am never looking back.
McQueen strives for her work to be clean, classic, and timeless. The hand formed pieces are simple with a modern shape and a fresh look. All the work is handmade either on the pottery wheel or by hand. “Handmade is special. Don’t get me wrong – I love china and mass-produced dinnerware for accent pieces on my table. But I prefer the warmth of handmade and “the touch of the maker” gives it an organic feel that highlights the food and the table.”
“I want the meal that you took hours to prepare plated on dishware that has the same amount of thought and love put into it.”
McQueen Pottery can be purchased through their website @ www.mcqueenpottery.com and at many galleries throughout the Southeast. There is also a line exclusive for Blackberry Farms that can be purchased through their website @ www.blackberryfarms.com
Photograph of LeAnne McQueen courtesy of Natalie Watson
Photograph of pottery courtesy of Heather Anne Thomas