During his senior year at Morehead State University, David Walker chose pottery as a last minute option to complete his electives. Drawing had been his forte for as long as he could hold a pencil, but he had little experience in pottery. However, pottery unexpectedly and instantly became a new favorite past time for Walker.
“As a senior I remember feeling burnt out. But when I started pottery it was like I found something that was missing,” Walker said. “Pottery was different, but relatable, and it allowed me create something with my hands, which was very attractive to me.”
With little time left at the university and having only completed the one semester of pottery, Walker knew he desired to learn more about the craft and ceramics. He was able to talk with his professor about staying on to work in the university’s ceramic studio.
“As they say in the art world, I was ‘bit by the clay bug,’ and the fact that I could make something that people potentially wanted to buy was the icing on the cake,” Walker said.
Shortly after graduation, Walker and his wife Lisa, moved to Owensboro. Originally from Ohio, both were hired as teachers at Owensboro High School. Walker was thrilled to be teaching and doing art projects and pottery with kids, but his personal time dedicated to ceramics was limited.
“Luckily in 2008, my wife and I were blessed to buy a home with an extra space. I went out and bought the tools I needed to turn the space into a ceramic workshop,” Walker said. “The great thing is that it’s at my house, so I can go out to my shop and work for an hour, but still be at home with the family.”
Walker participates in events in the community to showcase and sell his work. He attends the East Bridge Art Festival every year and plans to attend couple of festivals in Louisville next year. His pieces are also available in Studio Slant.
Walker admits that he and his wife love the click of button for online shopping, but he feels strongly that people enjoy receiving gifts with a story.
“A gift is special when you know where it comes from, and you know the hands that made it. People appreciate original, handcrafted gifts they can use for years to come,” Walker said.
Walker does take custom orders, while maintaining his own style and process. Certain molds and materials are needed for certain requests that he may or may not be able to meet. At a festival once, he had a gentleman ask him to create a brick oven for pizza in his backyard. Walker admitted that was out of his wheelhouse.
“My passion is wheel-thrown, functional pottery,” Walker said. “Meaning, I like making something that a person can use, a mug for coffee, or a bowl for cereal. Being able to make something people will be using fifty years from now, that’s special to me.”
To see Walker’s ceramics, visit Studio Slant in Owensboro, or check out Walker Custom Ceramics on Facebook.