About Elise Willa Pincu Delfield

I am a  studio potter and pottery instructor, living and working in beautiful Bryson City, North Carolina, a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

My focus is on creating unique and beautiful pots that function.  I strive to make sure my pottery feels comfortable in the hand and does its job well. Beyond that basic premise, I try to imbue in my pots my interpretation of the colors and forms I see here in Western North Carolina. I chose to use red clay as a symbol of the wonderful red dirt under my feet. (I also chose it because historically it has been the most abundant clay and the clay used for regular folk, as opposed to the porcelain of kings and queens). The dents I sometimes put in my pots reference budding flowers and the undulating landscape of the Great Smoky Mountains. And before I glaze my pots with my unique glaze, formulated through years of research, I paint each like a unique watercolor painting, adding color and form reminiscent of flowers and songbirds and butterflies.

Most of my pottery is wheel thrown.  It is fun to alter pots out of round, so occasionally I do, as well as create using slabs of clay that are not limited to being round.  I fire my pottery in an electric kiln to cone 3 (2100 degrees F) so that each piece sings when tapped.  I just love the high pitch sound of a ‘tight’ clay body and feel that sound, as well as touch, are important to the overall sensory experience of handmade pottery.

I am a proud member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. My pottery has been published in several books and has found its way to Europe, Asia and Australia.

Along with making pottery, I also teach.  I am a faculty member at Southwestern Community College in the Heritage Arts program that offers a Master Potter Certificate. I have also taught at the John C. Campbell Folk School, at studios around the country and via Skype.

Please take a look at my Artist Statement and Resume.

When I am not making or teaching, I try to spend time outdoors. I love to hike with my husband Jeff and dogs, Snoopy and Poppy. If it gets too hot, Jeff and I attempt to whitewater kayak (we are new to the sport). And of course, I love to have a garden and grow my own food – it just tastes so much better! In my dreams I have a wood oven to bake bread… right now I bake in my gas oven.

In the evenings, I enjoy playing with the dogs, knitting and sitting on the couch, watching movies and eating popcorn and drinking craft beer with Jeff. Occasionally I will pick up the upright bass and jam with Jeff and friends.

You are welcome to contact me (NO SPAM, PLEASE) to inquire about my pottery for sale or workshops I conduct.  Email me at pincupottery(at)gmail.com


  1. Kim Hermes · October 8, 2019

    Do u teach classes.? If so when ,where, and how much. Thank u. My womens church group is looking to participate in a class.

    • pincupottery · October 9, 2019

      Hi Kim, I am no longer teaching classes at a shop in Bryson City. If you will be in Bryson City with your church group, try the Southwestern Community College Swain campus. They may be able to put something together for a group.
      Good luck!

  2. Linda Talley · May 23, 2019

    Are you still selling your pottery on Etsy?

    • pincupottery · October 9, 2019

      Hello Linda Talley. It has been quite a while since I checked my site for comments. Sorry it took so long to reply, but YES, I do sell on Etsy. I should have a shop update at the end of October. Please check it out and thanks for asking! etsy.com/shop/pincupottery

  3. Andrea · July 17, 2016

    Hello! I came in a few days ago with my husband and daughter on vacation from New Jersey. I bought a mug and cereal bowl. I love both. The bowl is too pretty to go in the cabinet so it sits proudly on our kitchen table and will get many uses. The mug is perfection in design. It looks so pretty sitting on the counter like art but is also the perfect size, weight and shape for drinking like it was made for me. And just happens to match the colors in my kitchen. Love your design, style, and craft. I can tell a lot of thought goes into the design. Thank you for a lovely keepsake from our visit to the great smokies.

    • pincupottery · July 17, 2016

      Thank you so much for letting me know, Andrea! I am so pleased you like my work. There is, as you said, lots of thought (and love) that goes into each of my pieces.

  4. Deborah · July 9, 2015

    Will you be at the Southwestern Arts & Crafts this Saturday?

  5. Caryn · November 1, 2014

    I was so excited to win your bowl today at the silent auction at the WNC pottery festival in Dillsboro! Love your work and have included your piece with my growing pottery collection of WNC potters. Reading your bio, saw that you were a librarian and now make pots full time. I am a librarian at an elementary school and look forward in a few more years to retiring (early!) and following my passion as well! Thanks for sharing your gift and creating the gorgeous pots that you make.

  6. Maureen (Mo) Diaz · October 21, 2014

    I bought a beautiful teapot and 2 cups on Sunday! They are so wonderful!!! So are you! I am so happy with my purchase! I also enjoyed talking to you and your husband – its funny, I saw so much pottery on Sunday – but yours was the only one that “spoke” to my soul!!! I am the blonde that came back 3 times before I made my purchase! I am thrilled! I will purchase many more items!!! Have a great day! Mo

  7. Robbie Teasdale · October 16, 2010

    I just bought one of your mugs and it’s beautiful!!! I will come see Pincu someday hopefully soon. I grew up in Kenya and did pottery at my high school there. Just moved to Robbinsville but am looking for opportunities in claywork.


    • pincupottery · October 16, 2010

      Thanks, Robbie!

      I hope you enjoy using the mug, too! Stop by anytime Tuesday – Saturday from 10-4. I offer 2-hour classes at my shop. If you don’t mind the trip to Bryson, you may look into taking a class at Southwestern Community College where you can learn pottery and have access to a studio daily!

      • Robb · January 4, 2012

        Thanks again for helping me with my roses! She loves them! We are getting married this summer!

      • pincupottery · January 5, 2012

        CONGRATULATIONS!!! Bring her by sometime to say hello.

  8. Margaret Marr · May 20, 2010

    Hi Elise! I announced your grand opening on my FaceBook page. Hope you have a great turnout 😀

  9. Betty · March 25, 2009

    Love your blog!! And your pottery, photography and bread!

    • Margaret · April 6, 2010

      I personnaly love the bowls and plates and cups that you.ve made. i use mine every day. I loof forward to seeing your work shop/gallery..

      • pincupottery · April 18, 2010

        THanks, Margaret! I really appreciate your compliments! I do hope you stop by when I open!

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