Donald Friedlich’s interest in art was stimulated by an encounter with an attractive jewelry designer on the ski slopes of Vermont. After this chance meeting, Friedlich decided to study jewelry at the University of Vermont and later at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Joe Cox grew interested in art as a high school student in Indianapolis, and honed his skills in college and graduate school. While he was in his twenties, the government commissioned him to paint murals for Michigan and Indiana post offices.
John Sharp grew up in the Midwest and studied with regionalist painter Grant Wood. During the 1930s, he painted post office murals in Iowa for the Works Progress Administration, and one of his designs was featured on the cover of Collier’s magazine.
Ceramist Doug Hendrickson met the ceramist Lee Ferber while they were both teaching at Drake University in Iowa. They collaborated on many pieces and in 1983 moved with their families to the Missouri Ozarks to establish a joint studio.