At one time, Hamilton Williams pursued a career in architecture, but a college pottery course diverted him toward a life in clay. During his first quarter-century as a clay artist, Hamilton focused primarily on making functional pottery. In recent years, though, he has slowly started to redirect his energies into more decorative pieces and architectural detailing. For more than 7 years, Hamilton Williams Gallery & Studio in Downtown Morganton has blended the beauty and service of a contemporary craft gallery with the authenticity and educational quality of a working clay studio. What began as a simple effort to relocate Hamilton’s studio grew into a retail gallery offering the work of the resident potter as well as a curated collection of fine craft from artists residing in Morganton and the surrounding region.
Visitors to the gallery will find a variety of pottery, jewelry, wood, metal, fiber, and mixed media along with an array of cards, soaps, and lotions. The restored 120-year-old building lived past lives as a TV repair shop, a tire store, and a car lot. Now the building’s exposed brick, original tin ceiling, and hardwood floors provide a perfect backdrop for the variety of color, texture, form, and materials that fill this incredible space. One side of the building houses the pottery studio itself, where many of the goods in the gallery are made. On any good weather day, the doors and windows are thrown open while Hamilton and his studio staff stay hard at work designing and making new works in clay. During a visit, guests may learn a thing or two about the pottery process and perhaps about Morganton itself.
Monday–Friday 10 am–6 pm, Saturday 10 am–5 pm