REEDS SPRING AND OMEGA POTTERY SHOP
Omega Pottery Shop is [located], in case you missed the link on home page, on Hwy 248 just down the road from the railroad bridge built in 1932. Then, Reeds Spring was in its heyday with tie hacking (cutting of timber into rail road ties) peaking and the tomato canning business off to a good start. Every kind of business could be found in town and the school was brand new (1936) thanks to the WPA (Work Projects Administration).
When we opened our pottery in 1972 the local economy centered on tourism created by recreation on Table Rock Lake, visits to Silver Dollar City(tm) and the growing retirement community. We are a easy 35 mile drive south from Springfield, a half day from Kansas City and St Louis and we are centrally located to the mid-west and mid-south. Of course, Branson (15 miles to our south and east) is now the name brand and its many attractions and entertainment bring more and more visitors each year. All because this area in the southwest corner of the Missouri Ozark region is so beautiful and easy to visit.
Omega Pottery Shop is a working pottery shop and sales gallery. The gallery is Mark's primary sales outlet, but he enjoys selling to other outlets and traveling to regional art fairs. We encourage visitors to Reeds Spring because it is still easy to visit and starting to re-grow after being by-passed by the new highway (see map). My Pottery along with Hess Pottery, a crooked mile away, welcomes a new Pizza company featuring hand made pizzas, calzones, salads and cold beer. We also have a house concert venue, The Rock House, featuring local and traveling musicians in a cozy setting and provides the local audience artists that are not necessarily part of the Branson commericalism. Plans are in the works for another resturant, a craft beer brew house and another entertainment bistro. Plus, a very popular Greek Resturant, Papoli's is still in its orginal location just a mile down the road in the other direction from my gallery.
Our contemporary handcrafted pottery might be easily overlooked, considering the din created by the mass merchandizers. Original clay-art fits into the visitors experience here as well as elsewhere. Besides that, the clerk waiting on you is probably the potter who made everything in the gallery. You can easily make room for a new piece of pottery because it feels as good as it looks and it is a good way to introduce a touch of handmade art into your living environment.
Mark's pottery is high-fire stoneware (to 2350F) which yields a vitrious body that is food safe, dishwasher and oven proof and may be used in the microwave oven. Mark's work shows many influences: starting with folk pottery from early Korean and Japanese pottery villages, imperial court porcelain from imperial China, and on into the current era with work from Sweden, England, Germany and post war USA potters. I try to meld the past and present and focus on making just good pots.
Good functional pots, in my experience, are well crafted. That is: the form is proportional, the lip and the foot ring are smoothed, the lids and handles well formed and finished, design and decoration fit the piece. The making and firing process is as important as the finished piece. The kiln atmsophere (reduction firing in his gas fired kiln) produces the warm earth tones and varied surfaces this potter seeks. The utilitarian qualities aren't as important in a decorative piece, but the surface, design, size, proportion and color are. Those goals are what I strive for on a daily basis, I really can't think of better reasons for making pots.