About the Studio

Different Drummer Pottery is in an old log cabin built in the 1940’s located on US Hwy 19 (Soco Rd) in the middle of Maggie Valley, NC just a few minutes from I-40 exit 20. The work area is always open for guests and we welcome you to come in and watch us work.


  • Best In Show - Mountain Heritage Day WCU 2018

  • Best In Show - Mountain Heritage Day WCU 2010

  • Award of Excellence - Piedmont Craftsmen's 2016 Fair

  • Church Street Art Festival

Featured In

  • Southern Living - Oct 1996 Carolina Living

  • Charlotte Observer

  • Asheville Citizen Times

  • Rustic Elegance Magazine

  • Waynesville Mountaineer

  • Smoky Mountain News

Meet the Potters

The Different Drummer pottery is a father and son team specializing in functional pottery and ceramic art.


My name is Terance Painter and I have been a fulltime potter since 1980. My work consists of functional wheel-thrown stoneware and porcelain in a variety of colorful glazes. I also specialize in bas-relief landscapes applied to the surfaces of vases, jars, and tiles for wall hanging.

I was born in western North Carolina and grew up just a few hundred yards from my present studio. I began a long love affair with art when I began painting at age 12. After trying my hand at many different media, I settled on studying painting and printmaking at Western Carolina University. It was there that I was first exposed to clay and after only two weeks in a required ceramic course, I knew that I had found my calling. I have been making pottery full time ever since.

It seems somewhat strange to have spent 40 years making things out of clay, but all of my life I have been, at my core, a maker. Don’t get me wrong. I love the finished product and there is nothing else quite like the look and feel of a fine piece of handmade pottery. But for me it’s more about the making. The experience of a vessel forming beneath your fingertips from a useless lump remains extraordinary and amazing. Even-after all these years, I still look forward to coming to work.

One of my other joys is all the interesting people I get to meet who visit me in my studio.

I’m Caden and I grew up in the pottery studio. From a very young age, about as soon as I could walk, I was excited by knowing when the doorbell rang I could run out to greet visitors in the showroom. I spent many days after school and during the summers all the way through college at the pottery studio watching my dad work and learning hand-building techniques.

Unlike my father, I’m not sure I always knew I was meant to be an artist. Growing up in his studio it is possible I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have. I attended college and studied business and information systems and afterwards beginning a career in Information Technology which I pursued for 10 years. But something was always missing. I missed the creative process. I missed making things. In 2018 I decided to make a change and I asked dad if I could become his apprentice.

It has been a wonderful experience learning my father’s craft and I am proud to say that now my son is getting the opportunity to grow up in the pottery studio and see his father create… just as I did.



My wife Anita and I, Terance, are pleased to present our book “Centered, inspiration from the hands of the potter”. This is our own message of hope and inspiration, the result of 25 years of pondering at the potter’s wheel. Beautifully photographed by Anita and lovingly crafted, this small book has touched many lives over the past several years. Using Jeremiah 18 as a starting point, we use the potter and the clay as a powerful metaphor to describe God’s relationship with each of us.

Centered is our effort to capture, through fine detail and dramatic lighting, the subtle nuances and the creative essence of the hands of the potter.

Ultimately, these images and verses are intended to honor and portray God, the artist, more intimately for all to enjoy. Below are a few sample pages from the book.

Expanding on the premise of the book Centered, Terance travels to churches and worship events with his potter’s wheel to give inspirational speeches.

Contact Us

Fresh out of the oven!

We are constantly producing new work so check back here to stay up to date with our newest pieces.

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