Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Centering: A Collaborative Ethnography of the Hillcreek Pottery at Silver Dollar City

This thesis explores the disparate yet complementary roles filled by potters at Silver Dollar City (SDC), an 1880s Ozarks theme park in Branson, Missouri. As apprentices, the potters learn a spectrum of skills, kinesthetic through aesthetic. As production potters, they maintain a high output of sellable wares. The potters balance the constraints they see in production (its threats to creativity, individuality, and dialogue with other ceramicists) by claiming the freedoms of studio potters (who value these goals). The potters' ability to demonstrate at the park and participate in its 1880s-Ozarks heritage production sets the SDC potters apart. Understanding how the potters balance or, as potters do, find the center amongst these roles shows the uniqueness of their work. Daily contact with the potters as an apprentice informed my interviews. Following a collaborative ethnographic model, my consultants critiqued my developing understanding of their work from my early research through final drafts.