In 1934, Ernest Auburn Hilton established Hilton Pottery in McDowell County. A fifth-generation potter, he one of the first in western North Carolina to use color in the making of pottery. Color had been used by one other potter, Jake Weaver, who had died almost a hundred years earlier. “Aubie” Hilton’s wife Clara Maude was also a potter and later became well known for her dolls as well. (Information from History of McDowell County by Mildred Fossett.)
The Hiltons’ grandson, Bill Hendley, is continuing the tradition. In this video, he talks about the Hilton method of firing the kiln, painting, and color.