Learn More About Us in This Short Film
Left to right: Mark Shapiro, Michael McCarthy, Robbie Heidinger, Sam Taylor,
Maya Machin, Constance Talbot, Eric Smith, Christy Knox, and Hiroshi Nakayama.
Photo Credit: John Polak
This tour is a sampling of the work of the Hilltown 6, a group of nationally recognized potters based in the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. Each summer on the last weekend of July, we open our studios for a coordinated tour, inviting neighbors, friends, collectors, and the curious to see our workshops, kilns, showrooms, and new work. The tour allows our guests to see the variety of functional ceramics being made right here in this community, in the fascinating settings where the potters work. The itinerary offers an invitation to get out into some lovely backcountry - potters tend to thrive in secret hollows and on quirky hilltops. Pottery tours like this one are a nationally developing format for the presentation and sale of work. They offer context, personal connection, and participation in a local economy in a way that re-frames consumerism and reverberates with various movements such Buy Local, slow food, and Occupy. The founding potters were: Christy Knox, Hiroshi Nakayama, Michael McCarthy, Connie Talbot, Mark Shapiro, and Sam Taylor (hence the “6” of our group’s name). Several years ago, Robbie Heidinger, Eric Smith and Maya Machin were asked to join the tour - the name, however, rang a bell, and we kept it. We added guest artists and studio demonstrations to share more about how we make our work and our wider creative community.