If you've ever tried to turn clay and fire pottery, you know that it is no easy task. Silver Dollar City's crafts colony is proud to have some of the most dedicated and talented potters in the land. The City's clay throwers love to introduce people to pottery through daily demonstrations at the wheel and doubly enjoy watching guests fall in love with pieces they create.
Mater Craftsman Jeff Walker leads the team and says "the true beauty of pottery is not only found in the art, but in how functional each unique piece really is." The essence of true craftsmanship is that the end creation can be used day in, and day out and still be passed down for generations. And, that's what you get with every handcrafted piece from Hillcreek Pottery. While in the shop, you'll want to take home one of each of the many works of art that only come fired out of the kilns.
A Craftsman In The Making
Jeff came to Silver Dollar City from Kansas City, Missouri, where he operated his own pottery studio. He opened the studio only five years after graduating from college and began traveling to show his work at 30 art shows a year, including Silver Dollar City's National Harvest Festival. Admirers from all over came to enjoy his unique line of pots. Jeff has been a member of Best of Missouri Hands, juried artists for over 18 years, and sits on their Board of Directors.
The Silver Dollar City Years
As visitors walk through Hillcreek Pottery, Jeff's influence is evident. The bright red color on some of the pots is his signature glaze. Glazing is a specialized skill that includes mixing clay with natural compounds, making each glaze different, like a recipe.
"Red is one of the most difficult glaze colors to make in pottery," Jeff says. "Making sure the recipe is just right and blends with the clay the way you want it to takes time to achieve. The secret is in the firing of the pot."
That is all Jeff will reveal about his secret recipe for red glaze. A newly created pie plate at Silver Dollar City includes this beautiful color, shining in the production room.
"Working at Silver Dollar City is an unbelievable atmosphere," Jeff says. "With such talented craftsmen there are so many different opinions and skills. Anytime I ask a question, I'm offered valuable input from a variety of mediums. It's a great learning environment."
Jeff is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with fellow established craftsmen and develop his skills in a positive, inspirational environment.
Jeff's style tends to be more functional. He enjoys making pots customers can use in their daily lives rather than just as decoration. Jeff said he may spend months thinking of a design, but once he has the idea in his mind, it comes to life on the wheel.
3/11/2023 — 12/30/2023