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Announcing MudFire 3.0
New Owners...New Plans!


March 8, 2013 - Atlanta GA

MudFire Clayworks & Gallery, a nationally-prominent ceramic art center, is pleased to announce a wide range of new programs and enhancements concurrent with a change in ownership. Deanna Ranlett, owner of Atlanta Clay, has acquired a controlling interest in MudFire. Deanna, along with her team of investors and staff, has an ambitious plan for building on MudFire's sterling reputation in the clay community.

MudFire was founded in 2002 in a shopping center in Brookhaven, and within a few years underwent a major transformation and expansion while moving to Decatur. MudFire will remain at its current location but with a bigger operational team eager to launch a new and exciting phase in the studio's evolution, fondly dubbed MudFire Version 3.0. Upcoming changes include:

  • A new full-time artist residency program recruiting nationally
  • An on-site ceramic tools and supply boutique, Decatur's first
  • Expanded online presence with videos, articles, and frequent posting
  • Creation of an urban organic garden on the spacious sunny lawn
  • More ticketed workshops held in a dedicated workshop space on-site
  • Frequent special-topic clinics for area ceramicists to visit and learn
  • Continuation of the popular studio memberships program
  • Continuation of a busy gallery exhibit schedule with increased local focus

MudFire founders Luba Sharapan and Erik Haagensen are stepping aside to allow MudFire to continue to grow and evolve under this infusion of new energy and ideas. They will be pursuing their artwork and organic farming in rural Appalachia. Both will continue to actively support the organization thru an extended transition period and in an advisory role thereafter.

MudFire's new owner Ranlett reveals, “Our main goal, with this purchase, is to strengthen and advance the clay community in Georgia and beyond. MudFire has been instrumental in building that connection and providing an exciting and inspirational place for people wanting to work in clay. We seek to bring in new clay enthusiasts to the center and serve as an educational resource to the public.”

The new team also includes co-owner and ceramicist Daphne Dail - also of Atlanta Clay. Haagensen, Sharapan, and a core group of MudFire studio members are providing financial and logistical support for this exhilarating new era in MudFire's evolution. Current staff will continue.

“I am thrilled to be leaving our baby in such capable and caring hands,” says MudFire founder Luba Sharapan, “This group has the deep knowledge and love of clay, art, snacks, and business needed for MudFire to continue to thrive. We spoke with dozens of interested parties during the sales process, and chose to work exclusively with Deanna to realize this transition.”

About MudFire Clayworks & Gallery

MudFire Clayworks is a community clay studio utilizing an exceptionally hands-on approach for students to learn the art of ceramics. MudFire is an open studio all day, fully-equipped to provide hobby, part-time, student, and professional potters and sculptors the opportunity to be outrageously creative on their own schedule. Equally unique, the MudFire Gallery is a showcase for functional and sculptural pottery and boasts a decade-long reputation of prominence in the ceramic arts world. Representing nationally acclaimed potters as well as emerging artists from the Southeast, MudFire Gallery serves as a font of inspiration for members and collectors.

About Atlanta Clay

Atlanta Clay, ceramic supply house, was founded in 2009 on the principle, “by artists, for artists” and strives to provide unparalleled technical knowledge as well as great products to their clay community in Georgia and the Southeast. Founder Deanna Ranlett’s standard is to know the materials in and out, love the craft, and share that knowledge and love with her customers whether they are professional ceramic artists, hobbyists or students. For more on Atlanta Clay, please visit

What Next for Luba Sharapan & Erik Haagensen

After more than a decade at the helm, witnessing the conception, and raising of MudFire, Erik and Luba are thrilled to be heading to the hills of East Tennessee. They have plans for organic farming and pursuing their own careers in the ceramic arts, and various ideas for Appalachian community development projects in the works. We know their future is brimming with goats, clay, outrageous fun and gale force creativity! To continue alongside them on their journey, please visit and sign up for their newsletter and upcoming blog.

The Party You Don't Want to Miss

Join our MudFire email list and stay tuned on our MudFire Facebook page for details of our upcoming MudFire 3.0 public launch party this summer. We’ll be dropping teasers all spring. You don’t want to miss this party!


To learn more about the purchase and the future of MudFire, please contact:
Deanna Ranlett, President
MudFire, 175 Laredo Drive, Decatur, GA 30030
phone: 404-377-8033
Send us an email

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