Niloak Pottery is made from kaolin, a clay that is found in Benton, Arkansas. Charles Dean Hyten grew up making pottery and eventually took over his stepfather’s business. He used a pottery wheel in the production of niloak, swirling different clays until he formed different types of vases, urns, jugs and other items. Niloak took off when it’s production was perfected by Hyten. At one point, Hyten was producing over 60,000 pieces per year. Most of the Niloak featured at the Gann Museum is of its natural color of clay.

During this time, Niloak was sold by the inch. Today it is sold by the piece. Hyten’s business flourished here in Benton, Arkansas, where he ran the Pottery, until the Great Depression, when it eventually could not survive like many other businesses. The Gann Museum holds a large collection of Niloak.

The sticker on a piece of Niloak meant that it was certified to be original and actual Niloak.