Tyson Graham is a potter, musician, designer, and teacher based in Polk County, North Carolina. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design from the University of South Carolina and apprenticed under Claude Graves of Little Mountain Pottery.
Photo by Karin Strickland from Bold Life Magazine
Tyson’s red earthenware ceramics are decorated with slips and sgraffito and fired in a gas kiln. The decorations come from patterns in nature, and often evolve into loose abstractions of flowers, leaves, and trees. His love for music comes through in his pottery with images of guitars, fiddles, and banjos. He fires the kiln about once a month, hosts three kiln openings a year, and organizes the Little Mountain Festival every October.
As the child of a professional clarinet player and woodwinds professor, Tyson’s musical background dates back to his early childhood, when he started learning violin and guitar. He has explored many styles of music, including jazz, bluegrass, and folk varieties, with an emphasis on the upright bass, guitar, and fiddle. He is passionate about the traditional fiddle and banjo tunes associated with southern Appalachia, often referred to as Old Time music. Tyson currently teaches for the Pacolet Junior Appalachian Musicians program, and offers private lessons for guitar, banjo, fiddle, and upright bass.