Stephen Mullins opened Red Bison Studio in downtown Sheridan in 2018, offering his pint cups, artisan mugs, and gorgeous tableware and crockery. The pottery studio in the back of the business is where the magic happens and adds the ‘Studio’ to Red Bison. A fun fact is that Stephen didn’t start his business by opening up a storefront; he got started by selling his pottery at 3rd Thursday Street Festivals in the summer and working as a full-time teacher. Now you can find his work downtown along with the offering of pottery classes ranging from wheel throwing basics to individual topics like creating specific bowls and mugs.
Stephen has a unique style to his pottery and has adapted a few innovative finishing techniques which set him apart from a more traditional clay artist. He’s used silk screen monoprint transfers, which he described as a more artistic process. Stephen also works with monoprint transfers that consist of hand-drawn designs applied with a clay slip. In a similar process, Stephen also works with waterslide decal application – ask him about the difference, it’s a cool process!
Whether Stephen is throwing clay on the wheel, or creating custom designs, it seems like the guy is always in motion. He creates custom work for clients as well as the pieces in his store. Stephen said, “Everything is handmade and created individually and every piece is unique with a wide range of designs with multiple different processes and finishes.” In addition, everything is created in Sheridan, from throwing clay on the wheel, to kiln firing, designing, and glazing. Stephen said Sheridan has always been supportive of him and the arts as a whole. “I feel fortunate to call Sheridan home and being able to have a store on Main Street has been great, I feel fortunate,” Stephen said of Red Bison Studio.
Something to look for in the very near future is that Stephen just got into one of the largest pottery shows in the country! He stated that he’s been applying to be in the show for years, this year is his big break! The national pottery show is called Strictly Functional and is held in September. The show is based on functional pottery, right up Stephen’s alley! Stop by and tell him congrats.