Standing in her Dillsboro studio, potter Zan Barnes can’t help but smile. “If you told me in high school that this is what I’d be doing, I’d have laughed in your face — absolutely not,” the 32-year-old said.
A second-generation potter, Barnes is tucked away in her own little Zen den. Next to her at all times is Zelda, a rescued Great Dane as gentle as she is large. The wooden structure is long and winding, with a low-hanging roof, where blocks of clay, buckets of water, countless shelves and finished items reside — all under a grove of trees, a stone’s thrown from the main house of the Riverwood Shops along the Tuckasegee River.