Posts By: Dan Finnegan

Pitchers and Planters

It’s been a while since I’ve made these pitchers and after looking at these photos I’ve decided that the next batch need to have short little necks…I’ve been pushing the long neck for a while and all of a sudden I feel the need to tilt the pendulum in the other direction. And so it… Read more »

Cupcake Wedding

On a beautiful autumn evening, Nathan and Cat were wedded on the farm where my pottery is. Great music and a simple ceremony under the gourd-laden gazebo was followed by a lovely meal of Thai food from Tarntip Restaurant and incredible cupcakes made by Elizabeth. I’m not sure that the photo is sufficient to see… Read more »

Lidded Jars

I’ve been saying for some time that the wider I get, the wider my pots get (or maybe it’s the other way around). Either way, I like these sturdy round forms. The taller ones in the background are better for a kitchen counter, but I guess in the end I prefer the presence of the… Read more »

For John Tilton

It really makes me happy to know that a great potter like John Tilton is taking a look at my musings. He asked for some photos of my pottery, so here’s my chance to tell you a little about my little piece of paradise. I am commuting to my studio for the first time in… Read more »

Award Winning Baked Goods

Kathy Harrigan is an enabler. Perhaps my biggest gustatory weakness is any kind of homemade pie, cookie, sweet bread or cake. Kathy has won numerous prizes at the Virginia State Fair for her baking and I am proud to say that have been an official taste tester and ‘critic’ of hers for many years! She… Read more »

Yet Another Quiz

What well known blogger made this mug, purchased the first time we met?

the everybodyfields

I have been obsessed with this band for several years now…Jill and Sam hail from Johnson City, Tenn. and they have performed at LibertyTown for 3 years running. They are delightful folks with a beautiful talent for writing, harmonizing and playing. Give ’em a listen!

Vote For Eric Olsen

Last night we hosted a reception at LibertyTown to formally introduce my friend Eric as a candidate for Commonwealth’s Attorney in the City of Fredericksburg. Eric and I have been good friends for more than 25 years. He is a stellar human being and a passionate advocate for justice. His 19 years as an assistant… Read more »

A Crate of Babies (or rather, baby)

Emily and Ellie came for a visit to the pottery today, which is always a good thing. I think of Ellie Bird as my ‘therapy baby’…if I’m feeling blue I make my way to wherever she is. We stuck her in this old milk crate and carried her around for a bit…I think she might… Read more »


I often fill the bottom of the kiln with planters…it’s not been a very exciting part of the kiln so far, but these work just fine. Finished preparing wood with Beth and then I threw a bunch of 5lb. lidded jars. I’ll try to take photos tomorrow. I’m on a roll and it feels good.

Carbonated Glazes

I find myself spending a crazy amount of time testing both glazes and slips. It’s always been so and with a new kiln (4 firings) and two different chambers, I have lots to discover. I tried an idea today that has been a long time coming. Too many ideas roll around in my head, sometimes… Read more »


If I had a list of favorite words, ‘Autumnal’ would certainly be in the top 10. I do have a list of favorite seasons (it’s a whole lot easier) and autumn has always been at the top. Now I know why…I looked it up in my American Heritage Dictionary and the second explanation is too… Read more »

Long Trousers

Not to be confused with “The Wrong Trousers”, one of my favorite Wallace and Gromit movie. Today was our first proper autumn-like day…bright sun, not too hot and by this evening I was enjoying a delightful chill. This is my time of year!Here’s a photo of the road heading into my studio. This is close… Read more »


A few months ago there was a bunch of blogs about pots and birds. It inspired me to make a press mold of these lead birds; one of the many ideas that sit around waiting for the right nudge to be brought to fruition. I intend to use them as a knob on some bigger… Read more »

Setting the Date

I spent the day hauling wood with Beth Jordan, who’s worked with me for the last year or more. She is good company and we got a lot done today. The next firing will be #5 and I’m still figuring out new ‘rules’ such as…get the wood cut and under cover one month before firing…. Read more »

Toff Milway

I’ve been slacking off on my blogging duties, mostly because I can’t find my camera (I think it might have been lifted from my car, but I’d still like to think that I just left it somewhere). I have been busy in my studio, but I’ll use today’s musings to introduce you to my best… Read more »

Rye Arts Center

This is a group of teapots I’ll be packing up today to ship for an upcoming exhibition called “Southern Exposure: Atmospheric Pots and the Penland Connection”. This show is part of a county wide celebration of clay arts organized by Westchester Arts Council.Years ago I was invited to be part of an exhibition of ‘southern’… Read more »

Bedrock Pots

This is a body of work that goes back to my earliest introduction to clay. My college experience emphasized sculpture over function (this is TOO common) and I divided my time between both. My functional pots are finely made and maybe a bit too tight, sometimes…these pieces are the opposite in every way. In fact,… Read more »

From Here To There

I’m a little behind in posting this blog. We welcomed a terrific exhibition to our gallery last Friday night. The Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Va. is celebrating their 35th anniversary this year with a traveling exhibition and invited us to host the first show! It is a real honor for us to be… Read more »

Hatchville Pottery

I’m happy to direct you to my long-time pottery friend Hollis Engley’s new blog. Hollis was a good writer long before he made pots…blogging was made for him! We used to wood fire together and he helped me build my kiln. He makes pots on Cape Cod which is too far away buta nice place… Read more »

This Week’s Pots

I needed to throw some simple things the other day, so I revisited these crock/spoon pots. I’ve made thousands of them over the years. The second photo shows some more challenging pots I’m working on and a ‘cider jar’ that I’m very pleased with. We have a big show opening this Friday at Libertytown, so… Read more »

Another Cool Book

This is my other new favorite book…the Chinese version of the previous post. There are 34 plates reprinted from beautiful, rich watercolors depicting the entire process of producing 18th century export ware from mining clay to selling the finished pots. The photos here depict mining by hand, oxen stomping the clay in pits, packaging prepared… Read more »

L’Encyclopedie Art De La Ceramique

I’d forgotten about the richness of bookstores in New England and it was great to know that they still seem to thrive. I love books about the technical aspects of pottery and two I found are particularly delightful. This is the French one…beautiful detailed engravings of clay processing, settling pits, production studios and all kinds… Read more »

Final Travel Photos

I traveled from Boston to Portland, Me. along the water the whole time. Lots of old beach towns in New Hampshire (I forgot that they had oceanfront property!?). I stopped at a particularly shabby town and played some Skee Ball for old time’s sake. I’ve still got the skills that I honed avoiding roller coasters… Read more »

Test Tiles

I’m still testing a bunch of different slips and glazes and I like to apply them to tiles that can be used later on. These are each about 3″ square and 5/8″ thick, basically sturdy floor tile. LibertyTown has old tests installed all over the place!I raw glaze most of my work (except for pots… Read more »