About Niloak Pottery

Between 1909 and 1946, the Niloak Pottery Company gave a new, patented look to art pottery. Located in Benton, Arkansas, this “Niloak” (which is 'kaolin' clay spelled backwards) pottery was hailed for its most sought-after product, the mission swirl. The Niloak Pottery Company opened a special plant just to manufacture this line, which was operated by Charles Dean Hyten. Then, during the Depression, Niloak Pottery produced cast-ware pottery, called Hywood. 

The mission ware is made by mixing different colored Arkansas clays, then placing the piece on the potter’s wheel. While the outside of the piece remains soft and unglazed, the interior’s glaze makes it waterproof. To contrast, the Hywood line was finished in high gloss and semi-matte glazes, or in solid and drip glazes. Pieces were typically marked with an imprinted "Niloak" or "Hywood by Niloak" stamp.