Chris Lyon Partner and Co-Founder, Eutectic Gallery
Even when he was young, when Chris Lyon set a goal, he wasn’t easily deterred. His T-ball coaches spotted his positive energy and relentless work ethic at an early age; when he was 7, Chris won his team’s “Mr. Determination” award.
“I learned pretty early that if you want something, you got to work for it,” he says.
His attitude hasn’t changed much in the two decades since Chris hung up his cleats. Lyon, the 32-year old co-founder of Portland, Oregon-based Mudshark Studios, is still chock full of working man’s determination. Along with his business partner, Brett Binford, Lyon has built the company in a mere six-year span from its humble origins in a Portland basement to what is one of the largest Sub-contract ceramic manufactures in the United States. Brick by brick, kiln by kiln, mold by mold–all while trudging through economic downturns–Mudshark Studios is a clear reflection of Mr. Determination’s true grit.
After all, Chris says, “anything worth doing, is worth doing right.”
Born in San Diego, Chris was raised in Minnetonka, Minnesota, a western suburb of Minneapolis. He says he initially became interested in ceramics through his older brother Eric, and studied the craft in earnest during high school.
Chris graduated high school in 1999; his love of snowboarding, and the outdoors soon led him west. He attended college in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and began working at Ceramic Design group. It was here where Chris learned what it takes to manufacture ceramic objects on a commercial level. Ceramic Design Group is also where Chris met Brett Binford, and although they did not know it at the time, the idea for Mudshark studios was born. The summer of 2001 lead Chris to Bozeman, Montana with his beloved Old English sheepdog, then down to Durango, Colorado (where he graduated with a degree in Business Art from Fort Lewis College) and back to Steamboat in 2005 before finally setting down roots in the artistic enclave of Portland in 2006.
“I like to say I’ve graduated with an honorary M.B.A. from the University of Ceramics,” he says. Those who’ve worked with Mudshark Studios, might say Chris graduated summa cum laude.
“I think Mudshark has succeeded because clients can see how much Brett and I are invested in the company,” Chris says. “Financially, emotionally, mentally even physically We’re all in.”
He’s not exaggerating–Chris has the company’s shark logo tattooed on his chest.