Apprentice DaysLeslie Nieto, Owner - I grew up in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, where I first started my studio. I discovered an interest in clay with a pottery class I took in Jr. High School. It was just basic hand building techniques, like slab and coil work, but it was enough to plant a seed. The first time I had access to a pottery wheel, I was in High School. After my very first session on the potter's wheel, I was hooked! I began going every day to practice, and spent as much time as I could in the school's ceramics room. Working in clay became my passion. Even then, I knew I wanted to be a potter.

LeslieWorkAfter High School, I wasn’t really sure what one would do to become a professional potter. There was no set rule or recipe that I had ever heard of. It wasn’t like, go to college for four years, get a degree, voila you are a pro. So, I called around every place in the phone book that mentioned the word “pottery”, looking for work and a place to learn. I was lucky enough to find a studio that could use my help, and I went to work as a potter's apprentice.

The Mud Place began in my heart well before I even knew I wanted to try and run a business, and I am so grateful for the chance. It started as a late-night conversation where I said something like "I think I might get a potter's wheel - just for fun". It was really just a dream that grew. Today I work from my Melbourne, Florida studio, where I design, produce and teach pottery. I am constantly working at improving my craft. While it isn't all just playing in the mud, I really love my job.





Camila Greco, Production Manager - After her first handling of clay, Camila felt the pull to create and explore the endless possibilities of the medium. She enjoys the natural aspect pottery making presents and a connection with the earth. An avid gardener and all-around crafter, clay made a logical next step for satisfying her creative spirit. Her return to clay is of a professional interest. She manages all aspects of the production and finishing of wares.

Cassidy Books, Apprentice - Cassidy began her clay journey in hand building and slab construction. Adding clay to her portfolio is a step towards her dream of becoming an art therapist. She enjoys sharing in the creation of art with special needs children and adults.

Tony Da Silva, Potter  


 Interested in joining our team? We are always looking for qualified people who share our love of clay. Tell us about yourself on our jobs page.