Mark Skudlarek was raised on a dairy farm in Central Minnesota. He was first introduced to pottery while attending St. Johns University, in nearby Collegeville. After graduation in 1981, he traveled to the traditional pottery village of La Borne, France, where he was first exposed to wood-fired pots and wood-burning kilns. Skudlarek says, “It was immediately clear to me upon that first firing that this was I was meant to do. After two years in France, I returned home and sought a four-year apprenticeship with Todd Piker at the Cornwall Bridge Pottery in Connecticut.” In 1988, Mark established Cambridge Wood-fired Pottery in Cambridge, Wisconsin, and since then, has made functional wood-fired pottery inspired by Far Eastern and European folk traditions.