Hamilton Williams Moves to Renovated Building in Morganton

MORGANTON, N.C. – Hamilton Williams ClayWorks, one of the area’s top pottery studios, has relocated from Valdese to a renovated century-old building in downtown Morganton.

The new location officially opened Sept. 20. It gives owner Hamilton Williams three times the square footage of his old facility and has allowed him to add a retail gallery to sell his works and the works of fellow artisans.

Williams spent a considerable amount of time refurbishing, renovating and updating the 3,600-square-foot building, which dates to the early 1900s.

“We basically spent the last six months ripping the building inside-out, putting it back together again, and bringing out much of the original character,” Williams said. “We exposed the original brick interiors and added hardwood floors that have an aged look created by a linseed oil and wax finish which isn’t commonly done these days.”

Located at 403 East Union Street, the new facility also allowed Williams to expand the size of studio, which was the primary objective.

“Coming out of the recession business started to boom again and we needed more room to make pots,” he explained. “But that idea transformed into a full-fledged gallery based on the space this building had available. We feel opening retail space in Morganton at this time is a good move because Morganton is becoming more and more of an arts community.”

Visitors now encounter an open studio where they can view pottery being made by Williams and his staff. Another studio for a second potter will be added in coming months. The facility also features a gas kiln.

With the additional space, Williams will host weekend pottery workshops for kids, as well as wine and art evenings in conjunction with Silver Fork Winery.

The retail gallery space allows Williams to display the works of 30-40 fellow artists, many of whom are members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, as is Williams.

“I’m not just promoting my work, but also the work of other artisans throughout Western North Carolina,” said Williams. “I wanted to establish partnerships with other artisans to help them promote their work and build their careers, so they can focus on what they do best.”

Williams is an award-winning clay artist who started his studio shortly after graduating from UNC Greensboro in the mid 1990s. Prior to the move, he was in Valdese for 15 years.

Hours for the studio and gallery are: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

For information, call (828) 438-1595 or visit: www.HamiltonWilliamsClayworks.com.