Paul ChenowethThis is a narrative that started several hundred years ago when an industrious and inventive individual scooped up a handful of clay from a creek bed and began forming it into something that  produced a sound or a tone.  No one really knows when that event happened but the process that took that lump of clay and formed it into something capable of delivering  a musical composition is an art that must not be lost or forgotten.  And since no one really knows the details surrounding this monumental event, it is time that the stories reveal themselves from the heavy fog of history.  This is that place and here is where one will find some of those tales.

Paul Chenoweth is one of those creative sorts whose background in architecture, art, music, and education make him a likely candidate to keep the story of ceramic musical instrument making alive.  For now, the stories are about whimsical instruments that frequently combine a functioning tone sculpture with something like a cup (or mug)…thus the name MugPhlute.   Paul’s middle initial is “M”.  You may decide for yourself what the M stand for…but for now, M is for MugPhlute.

In 2011, additional exploration began into the world of experimental percussion instruments.  Those experiements include ways of looking at all instruments as sculpture and sculpture with human qualities…where else could the music come from if the object is truly inanimate?

2012 is the year that Paul’s personal studio evolved from a single vehicle garage.  There should be some images of that project somewhere here on the site.

The 2013 – 2015 period has been a flurry of making and exploring outlets for displaying and selling projects.  All of that activity has kept me away from my infrequent posts here on the blog.  I am active on the Ceramic Arts Community forum (discussion board) and enjoy the interaction between a host of very talented and experienced clay artists.

Biographical Sketch

Born: Bowling Green, KY while father was band director at Western Kentucky State Teacher’s College (now Western Kentucky University)…both mom & dad were perpetual students (that explains a lot).
Elementary & High School: Mostly Macon, Georgia schools – Lanier Sr. High School for Boys
College: Auburn University – Bachelor of Architecture
Belmont University – M.Ed
Nova Southeastern – Ed.D candidate – technology in education
Careers: Church Architect, Scenic Designer/Builder, Songwriter, Landscape Designer, Videographer/Editor, Web Developer/Programmer, Artist
Family: Married for 40 years…residing in Nashville, TN…2 grown children, 2 amazing children-in-law and 4 ‘energized’ grandchildren

8 Responses to “About”

  1. Doug Edwards and Hugh Hudson says:

    Dear Paul,

    Doug and I saw Carl Andrews (at least picture)–thought of you. Just saying hi.

    • Paul says:

      Doug, Hugh… Man, it has been a long time. Shouldn’t there be some sort of 42nd Anniversary Lanier Alumni pub crawl or something? Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Alexandria says:

    Hello Paul! I stumbled upon your website and I must say your work is great!! And I’m just feeling a bit naive for asking, but do you sell any of your pieces? I’m sure it’s far above my budget if one was to pay fairly, but I am curious.

    • Paul says:

      I hope to get some of my material onto an Etsy account. The larger pieces are headed for a local gallery. I will get a post up just as soon as there is a logical way to do online sales. Thank you so much for your interest!

  3. Scott says:

    Just curious if you are still out there and answering e-mail. I am interested to know what your process is for air entering your mugphlutes. I am a ceramics teacher and have been doing whistles for years and years and have not come across the look of yours.



    • Paul says:

      I apologize for being so slow to respond. I am not certain that I understand your question completely, but let me give it a shot. On most of my instruments, I create a tube by forming a small (0.5 in. diameter) roll of clay and then forcing something like the handle of a needle tool through it. One end of the tube is left round and shaped into a mouth piece. Into the other end of the tube I insert a flat tool, just larger than a Popsicle stick, stretching the sides of the tube a bit and compressing the top and bottom down onto the tool. That gives me a thin, rectangular airway that is easy to aim/tune toward a fipple/wedge. I make this as a separate piece in order to adjust the airflow as more and more holes are drilled into the instrument.

      Does that help?

  4. Rushell says:


  5. Marko says:

    Hi paul,

    This is really cool. I had no idea how versatile a clay artist you are. I knew you probably had a lot of experience, judging from the Not in Kansas piece you made. And how many people actually make sketchwork? Not me, but made I should. Heck I have a hard time making a todo list, but I’m getting better at it. Anyway, really awesome stuff you have. Do you make any YouTube videos or sound waves for the Ocarinas?


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