Walter Lee Cornelison
Walter Lee Cornelison was a fifth-generation potter, turning wares in Bybee Pottery - Kentucky’s sole surviving traditional pottery. Cornelison turned on a wheel set up inside the old log pot shop while overseeing the production of slip-cast and jigger-turned pottery.
The original structure at Bybee was built by Walter’s great-great-grandfather in the 1840s. As the oldest functioning pottery west of the Allegheny Mountains, Bybee Pottery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
Cornelison, along with other family members and assistants, produced over 100,000 pieces of pottery a year. Cornelison passed away in 2015. The pottery is now run by Cornelison's son, Jim Cornelison, and his cousin, Ron Stambaugh. They fire regularly in a kiln that holds over 1,500 pieces of pottery. Bybee produces brightly colored, functional pieces that reflect his family’s historical emphasis on utilitarian form and design.