A Local Couple Uses Their Talents to Create Beautiful Pottery

Cynthia Mosedale and Bill Kaufmann have been collaborating for more than 30 years. The couple has been married since 1980, before which they found each other through their shared passions. “It kind of fell together,” Mosedale says. “I was a teacher, and Bill was a beginning potter. He needed more help, and I loved pottery, because I had majored in it in college. So I started working with him and teaching.”

The idea for their pottery came together when Kaufmann gave Mosedale a fuchsia plant after the birth of their first son. “She said, ‘I think I can paint this.’ And that changed our lives,” Kaufmann says. “Art fairs were just starting back then. And people started to line up at our booth to buy this. And we were shocked. We were crazy about the work and crazy about each other.” They opened up Linden Hills Pottery around 1985, and business has been booming ever since.
Kaufmann, who learned pottery in Japan, forms the porcelain clay into the beautiful shapes by first using their potter’s wheel to throw the art. The pottery then goes through the bisque. “That’s just a low-fire, so the chemically combined water has been forced out. But it’s harder and more easily handled for the decoration process,” Kaufmann explains. He then sprays the background on with an airbrush and hands it off to Mosedale.

Mosedale, who studied art in college and found her passion in painting, is responsible for the beautiful designs hand-painted on with ceramic stains. “They kind of react like watercolors a little bit,” Kaufmann says. “You can mix them.” Mosedale uses inspiration from nature, and her designs definitely reflect that. Designs include poppies, irises, cattails and more. “We had a thistle growing in our yard one day, and I was going to cut it down, and she was like, ‘No! Don’t cut it down!’ The next thing I know, there it is. She’s painting it,” Kaufmann says. After the designs are painted on, they use glaze to cover the surface, then the pottery is fired again.

Along with their daughter Melissa and former apprentice Krista Rozmiarek, who both now work with them, Kaufmann and Mosedale create several items available for purchase, including mugs, vases, bowls, oil bottles and more. “We’ve been doing this for so many years that our repertoire of shapes grows,” Kaufmann says.
The couple attends art shows and participates in about 15 shows every year. They have won many awards, including the 2017 Dorothy Day Artist Award at the Excelsior Art Festival and the 2017 Best in Ceramics at the Lakeville Art Festival. “We’ve been very fortunate over the years that we’ve competed successfully in the national market,” Kaufmann says. “The competition is fierce.”

It is clear their passion for art and collaboration is what makes Linden Hills Pottery thrive. “The work doesn’t just happen. There’s a lot of intention behind it,” Kaufmann says. “We’re interested in producing the best things that we can.” In the end, it’s about the journey of making the pottery and the people they surround themselves with, Kaufmann says: “Even after all these years, one of the things that I like the best is when the whole work team is here, and there’s a lot of banter, and there’s a lot of fun.”