Natalie Cardinal opens home based pottery studio in Mundulla

FUN IN THE SUNFLOWERS: Marley, Oliver and Natalie, with puppy Finn in their sunflower patch. Photo: Sophie Conlon
FUN IN THE SUNFLOWERS: Marley, Oliver and Natalie, with puppy Finn in their sunflower patch. Photo: Sophie Conlon

Just a minute outside of the Mundulla town centre you can be transported from the quaint farming town into the creative world of Mundulla Mud.

Many locals would know Natalie Cardinal from her time at Bordertown and Mundulla Primary Schools, working as a teacher, but this year she decided not to sign a teaching contract, and instead opened Mundulla Mud.

This is her home-based pottery studio, which she officially opened to the public on December 11, 2021.

Natalie moved to Mundulla in October 2020, because she had a teaching contract at Mundulla Primary School and fell in love with the country community.

It took Natalie about a year to convert the clay shed on her five acre property into the pottery studio, and she has made it completely accessible for everyone's needs.

She decided to make the studio for a business, but also for her 12-year-old son, Marley who has been practicing pottery for three years.

While eight-year-old, Oliver has not had formal pottery training like his older brother, he loves to have a go and meet the people who come over to Mundulla Mud.

"I just like it in general," he said.

"I make cups, pinch pots, pots, and I can meet people when they come over."

LEARNING: Natalie helping her son, Oliver to make a cup on the pottery wheel in their home based pottery studio. Photo: Sophie Conlon

LEARNING: Natalie helping her son, Oliver to make a cup on the pottery wheel in their home based pottery studio. Photo: Sophie Conlon

Mundulla Mud offers playing with clay experiences were people can come and immerse themselves for an hour and a half in the relaxing art of pottery making, either on their own, or in a group for $25 per person which includes everything you will need to complete your own masterpieces.

"Birthday parties seem to be popular too," Natalie said.

Natalie can also help with developing fine motor skills, art therapy and relaxation and can do NDIS invoicing.

She opens the studio every day and has only had four days off since opening just six weeks ago.

So far, Natalie has received great feedback from people who have attended workshops and many people have returned two or three times since the studio opened in December.

"It's nice to see the same faces coming back," she said.

Visitors to the studio can sometimes be in for a treat and meet one of the families five Scottish Terroirs when they come for a trip into the studio.

A returning customer, Kathy Franklin said she had made wall hangings, plaques and a vase, and found the process relaxing.

"It's time away from everything else," she said.

Mundulla Mud is also home to a beautiful sunflower patch at the moment, which Natalie hopes will eventuate into the whole five acre property being filled with cut flowers.

This was an idea supported by her husband, Tony and oldest son Riley, who is 15.

"I did have the thought that it would predominantly natives, but the soil is working against me, in that the natives all get wet feet with the clay," she said.

"So at the moment, I've done really well with ranunculus, sunflowers and were gradually changing the soil composition.

"People can come out and for $2 they can pick a nice sunflower and take it home."

In the Mundulla Mud studio, Natalie tries to make sure nothing gets wasted and she works with the most organic materials she can find; this is the same for her flowers.

"Everything is completely food safe... it's microwave safe, dishwasher safe," she said.

"Anything that doesn't work gets recycled back into clay and the broken pieces I'm going to use for a mosaic along the wall."