A green mug to the left and a right mug to the right sit in front of a bonfire with chairs in the background that have the letters 'L, O, V, E' printed on them.

Featured Artisan – Walter Shroyer

‘Round the Mountain Featured Artisan
Walter Shroyer


A green mug to the left and a right mug to the right sit in front of a bonfire with chairs in the background that have the letters 'L, O, V, E' printed on them.

There is a certain peace about starting the morning with steam lifting from a hot cup of coffee with a view of the Southwest Virginia mountains.

The creations Walter Shroyer has been crafting for decades comes from the love he has always seemed to carry for nature and landscape. Walter, who now resides in Springville, Virginia, started his art form in his home state of Georgia.

Walter began at the University of Georgia as a forestry major. He transitioned to pursue a degree in art with a focus in ceramics during his sophomore year. He emphasized how this allowed him to build on his two loves of art and nature.

“Every time I touched the clay, it was like falling in love,” Walter said.

His art journey would lead him to Pennsylvania State University to complete his degree with a Master of Fine Arts that allowed him to settle a little further south. Walter recently retired from Bluefield University after 31 years teaching art.

Although Walter has explored other mediums including painting, watercolor, and collage, his passion is with clay.

“Clay is very harmonious, playful to touch, and it brings peace,” Walter said. “Clay, at times, can have a mind of its own. My intention is to have a give-and-take relationship with it, letting the clay’s fluid quality express itself.”

A handcrafted mug that is yellow with a blue front and handle. In the middle of the blue front is a brown circle with a hand-drawn tree inside.

Walter’s collection often contains utilitarian wares intended to be used. His mug collection and plates are frequently decorated with items from nature, including birds and trees. These designs are inspired from his own interpretation of the beauty around him. An avid hiker, Walter admits his obsession with trees and his close observation of the landscape he travels.

“The imagery comes from my inner being,” he said of the tree designs. They mimic representations of deciduous, pine, and Cyprus.

His production process often includes batches of his popular coffee cups, which take days to create from early stages of weighing his material, throwing on the wheel, decorating to drying and glazing.

The coffee collections come in three popular styles including a flat bottom, a round bottom, and small, espresso-style option. For those who truly value their caffeine experience, Walter has begun crafting a larger stein.

Two handmade mugs sitting on a table; the green mug on the left is filled with cider and cinnamon stick, and the mug on the right is filled with hot cocoa and marshmallows on the right. The tablecloth underneath also has pumpkins, roasted marshmallows, and cinnamon sticks on top.

Walter’s items are popular pick-ups at various selling points across the region. He has items available at the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace in Abingdon, Sleeping Dog Gallery in Tazewell, and Blue Ridge Bee Company in Princeton.

You can shop his items online and schedule for in-store pickup or have them delivered directly at ‘Round the Mountain Artisan Network at the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center.