A potter’s dream sits tucked away at Hamilton’s Pottery, which captures Barbados’ authenticity under the watchful eye of the man behind the name, proprietor Hamilton Wiltshire. Armed with over four decades of experience in the art of pottery, he welcomes one and all to his pottery shed.
“We used to be Indigenous Potteries until about 11 years ago when we moved to this location. Here we make handmade pottery using local clay from St. Andrew, and besides the mining, we process the clay in-house from the mined state right through to the finished product.”
But, he enthuses that he is - in fact - still learning his trade.
“It’s a growing art form and you can never become static - novelty keeps people coming back. We’ve had customers, in some cases, for over twenty, thirty years, and every time they visit, they are able to add something new to their collection - whether it be a new colour of an existing product or completely new products.”
While on the topic of customers, Hamilton provided a matter of fact ‘Did You Know’ about his products, stating that we’ve all, at some point, seen his handiworks without even knowing it.
“Besides individual requests, we do a lot of requests for the established local souvenir outlets, hotels and restaurants. The reality is that many times people are actually eating from our plates and they don’t even know!”
On this note, he adds:
“I often say we are not souvenir producers because most of our products are functional. We do a lot of household items - mugs, bowls and teapots - and roughly for every candleshade we produce, one hundred bowls are turned out.”
And, they don’t break easily and are dishwasher safe.
It was evident that tableware was the more highly requested pieces due to their scarcity on display, but decoratives such as jugs, wall ornaments and windchimes were not to be overlooked.
“From day one our slogan was ‘Indigenous themes with a contemporary flair,’” he declared as he walked over a traditional Barbadian Monkey (water jug) with a modern ornate black trim, “and this represents that slogan by showing how we take old traditional products and embellish them.”
Soon after, and fortunately so, we got a first-hand demonstration of Hamilton’s mastery as the potter’s wheel whirred to life and the creator certainly delivered. It was a fitting end to a lovely visit.
Hamilton Pottery is testament of the community spirit surrounding Harrison’s Cave, and one and all are welcomed to visit Monday to Friday from 9AM until 5PM. For further information, visit their Facebook page here.
Harrison’s Cave is a centuries-old natural ecosystem in the heart of Barbados surrounded by a rural community of amazing people. We invite you to explore our neighbourhood and experience our signature tours and other possibilities on offer. Peruse our Tours & Rates section to find out more information about visiting Harrison’s Cave.