Our Story

Odyssey Center For Ceramic Arts is an educational program of Highwater Clays.  Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Highwater Clays has been blending the earth’s best clays for over 30 years.

It all began long ago with a dough mixer and a couple of idealistic people who knew how to make things happen.  The year was 1979.  Brian and Gail McCarthy arrived in Asheville in a pick-up truck, toting two kids and a tent.

Operations began in an artists’ cooperative studio along the Swannanoa River and continue today beside the French Broad River in a 40,000 square foot facility with state-of–the-art clay mixing machinery.

In 1994, Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts was born.  Odyssey soon expanded to include classes and workshops throughout the year, artist residencies, community studio, gallery and children’s studio classroom.  The community studio is home to a diverse group of more than 50 artists working in clay.

Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts is an integral part of a thriving community and an important player in Asheville’s flourishing River Art’s District.  Odyssey has become a place where ceramic artists from across the country and from all levels of experience come for challenge and inspiration.