Jim Messer has art degrees from both Virginia Commonwealth University and Florida State. He left a teaching job at Davidson College and moved to Hertford County in 2006 to help create the associate fine arts degree at Roanoke Chowan Community College. He teaches a number of classes including art history, art design, drawing, jewelry making, and pottery. The clay is local, being donated from the farm of Cedric Pierce. Messer describes the steps involved in processing the clay from the ground to the classroom.