A Visit to Dryden Pottery

 
Dryden Pottery in Hot Springs houses the largest showroom of handmade
pottery in the state and is known for colorful handmade pieces such as plates, bowls, cups and vases. Materials used for the pottery include Ouachita
Mountain clays and Arkansas quartz crystal.
 
Dryden’s is a four-generation family business. It was
founded in Kansas by Alan James Dryden in 1946. Ten years later he relocated
the business to Hot Springs. Dryden’s son, James (“Kimbo”), learned wheel-made
pottery and is at the helm of the operation today. Kimbo’s sons are all potters
too including Cheyenne, who was at the shop the day I visited. His wife Kelly
also works at the store and is a potter too. And their kids are learning the
art form too. “My kids have been on the wheel since they could stand,” said
Kelly. 

 

The day I stopped by, Kimbo was in the back throwing and
Kelly said when people visit the shop if he is back there they can watch him at
the wheel.  Cheyenne does a lot of
the glazing and showed me to the back of the shop where this work is done.

 

“My grandfather started it [the business] in ‘46 but we
started in Kansas and we moved over here,” said Cheyenne. “We get people who
come in maybe they have heard about us and maybe they haven’t.” Regardless of
how a person comes to find themselves at the shop ( the colorful mural that
wraps around the outside of the shop enticed me to stop in that day), the
Drydens are happy to share their knowledge of the business and the art form.
 
Cheyenne said they also give some classes on the weekends
for people interested in learning about the craft. He said learning to throw
takes some time though. “People come in every day and they want to throw on the
wheel,” he said. “They always want to go right to that.”

 

If you want to visit Dryden Pottery sometime, the shop is
located at 341 Whittington Avenue. They can be reached at 501-623-4201. Tell
all the Dryden’s I said hello!
Posted in Crafts, Antiques, and Flea Markets, Kids

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