The Mills-Mosseller Studio operated from 1926 through the 2010’s. Master rug maker, Ronald Mosseller, was born in 1927. His mother was Lillian Mosseller, who was the founder of the studio, also a master of the art, and Ron’s teacher. In a conversation with Kipp McIntyre, Mosseller said that his mother “learned to make a rug from a little old lady up in the mountains above Asheville. She chewed tobacco and she asked Mother if she thought it was a sin for women to smoke. And then she spit tobacco seven feet away into a tin can on her front porch. She hit it every time.”
Kipp McIntyre, who is the Polk County Directory of Economic Development, described the Mosseller Studio: “In my opinion, it was the last authentic Carolina rug-maker in continuous operation left in the region in the 2000s.” Mosseller continued to use the wool-weaving techniques and dye-making recipes that his mother employed at the time of the studio’s founding.
It is said that when Franklin Roosevelt had his fatal stroke at the Little White House in Warm Springs, Georgia, in 1945, he was seated in his wheelchair upon a rug made by Lillian Mosseller. Her son’s work can be seen at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, and in the Governor’s Mansion in Raleigh.
A member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, Ronald Mosseller was also an accomplished sculptor.
Ronald Mosseller passed away on January 23, 2017 at the age of 89.