Posts By: Dan Finnegan

Ultra Secret Sneak Preview

I spent Saturday amidst the splendor of the Virginia autumn, figuring out how to put together my display for the show this weekend. By now you know that the “Pottery on the Hill” show is this weekend and soon some of my favorite potters will be gathering to share their amazing work at a brand… Read more »

I Didn’t Mean to Lie…

…it’s just that I’m a poor typer and proof reader. Yesterday’s group of tall pots stated that they were made from 7 pounds of clay and were 18″high. They are actually 16 ” high, a mistake that made it obvious to me that you readers are actually  paying attention! I love handles…and texture…and glazes that… Read more »

First Taste

Handle detail I haven’t had much time to savor the pots from last week’s firing, nor has there been much time (or energy) for taking photographs. But today I’m starting to feel like things are under control, that we’ve done the best we can to make the Pottery on the Hill show a success and… Read more »

Unloading #13

My usual group of good friends joined me yesterday in the cold and rain to unload some hot pots. In spite of changing bagwalls & exit flues and using untested wood ash in a glaze, all my worries were for nought. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect black and blue slip, but most… Read more »

Waiting for …

My ‘happy place’ in the woods. It is a good thing that the firing marathon leaves my wiped out…2 and a 1/2 days of waiting could be an eternity, but mostly for the first day I’m too tired to care. But today was day # 2 and I spent most of it poking around the… Read more »

Ready to Burn Some Wood

I’ve been happily loading the kiln for most of the last week. The weather has been grand and today Jason and I buttoned it up and gave it a couple of hours of pre-heating. We’ll light up at 5PM tomorrow and than stoke for 24-26 hours. I want to soak the first chamber for a… Read more »

Pottery on the Hill

                  We have a nifty new website that you should take a look at. The show is just about a month away and I imagine kilns being fired from Minnesota to Massachusetts and south to North Carolina via Pa., Md. and old Virginny. Check out… Read more »

Treats from a Scottish Lassie

Only Hannah would think to send me whiskey flavored tea…2 of my major food groups! Thank-you, dear! It is tasty, although not overly reeking of scotch. Clay box totem….the empties

Long Trousers

before Autumn has always been my favorite season and it arrived in serious fashion this week…bright clear skies, cool crisp air, geese flying in from the north, squirrels gathering nuts, apples at the farmers market, and the harvest just begun. In our part of the world most fields are planted in soybeans and corn and… Read more »

First Friday September

This was a large art weekend in our fair city, starting with our opening reception for our friend and former intern, Sarah Perry. Titled “Curios”, Sarah’s work are close-up photos of a variety of objects that are printed on round aluminum plates. She also included some small sculptural work which I’ve yet to photograph. It… Read more »

Filling the Kiln – Day by Day

Tea jars Candlestick bases Oval creamer  Putting a few parts together 4 lb. bases to be capped While it is fun and manly to get out the torch and make 2-part pots in one sitting, being the gentle soul that I think that I am, I throw them one day and finish them the next,… Read more »

My Mug

1st stage We have more than 50 talented artists at LibertyTown and one of our rising stars, Jenna Anderson, asked me to sit for her while she took some moody photographs.  She then spent the summer working in her studio and entered this charcoal drawing in the Strictly Fredericksburg show and took a first place… Read more »

Moving Forward While Looking Back

(As you may recall, I sometimes suffer from some critter nibbling on my pots…I often blame the mice, but now here’s an interesting one…that hole beneath the beak was not there when I left for the summer! You can see the bits on the books below, but I’m guessing that a flying critter bored its… Read more »

The Ken and Cousin Vernon Show(s)

“THE BARRELS” After taking some of the photos of the lads drinking cider, I stole a few random video moments, keeping the camera in my hand by my side. The subjects are all over the place, from local gossip to wartime stories, but it’s the language and the music of their Gloucestershire accents that really… Read more »

A Lovely Cup of Tea

I got back home last night and I’m still feeling rather weary after a long but uneventful journey. I’ve got plenty of photos and videos to sort out, but this seemed to be a perfect one for today…or any day! That’s Toff speaking to Parry, who gets a bit of tea twice daily. How’s that… Read more »

English Birds

 I’ve always loved an English bird…(nudge, nudge…wink, wink)!

Old Friends

I can’t really begin to write about all the wonders of this visit, but here’s just another little taste. I just returned from an exhausting and wonderful trip to Devon, where Doug Fitch and friends and family gave me a very warm welcome! I took some little videos of the one lane tracks that abound… Read more »

Two Sides of the Same Coin

    If you’ve read my last post about my ‘Night in the Abbey’ (and why wouldn’t you?!) you will perhaps be able to make sense of today’s title when I tell you that last night I was just as privileged to spend the evening in a shed drinking  cider with my old friend Ken and… Read more »

Before and After

Before aAter All play and no work makes this potter mighty restless, so yesterday Toff and I rebuilt one of the bag walls in his salt kiln…do you think we should have waited?!

Our Humble Abode!

I don’t have much time for writing today, but I had to give you a few photos of the place that Hannah, Doug and I stayed Saturday night After the show ended at Hatfield House we boarded the train for London, where we stayed with the Canon and his wife at WESTMINSTER ABBEY!!! Big Ben… Read more »

That’s All For Now, Folks…

#6…the last for now…   The early history of the pottery at Winchcombe is a bit murky, but it is generally accepted that there had been a pottery on the site for 100 years or so before Michael Cardew came along. Like most potteries of it’s time it was located on a good seam of… Read more »


#5 is a series Still figuring out life 40 years on… Ray picked me up from the coach station when I returned to England a few months later and drove me to the pottery. He told me that a few things had changed in the interval…some bloke by the name of Toff Milway had been… Read more »

Joining the Team

4th in a series… I worked at the Guildhouse for about 6 months, but it was far from a taxing job, teaching a few classes a week and with few other responsiblities I had more idle time on my hands than I would have preferred. I went for long walks over the hills, scattering sheep… Read more »

The Guildhouse

Part III in a Series.     The Guildhouse was the brainchild of Mary Osborne and her story is well worth telling. Mary worked in the east end of London as a social worker before WW2…this was a very impoverished area and it was here that she encountered Mahatma Gandhi who became a friend and inspiration…. Read more »

Well, How Did I Get Here…? *

In the summer of 1977 I was on a 2 month bicycle trip through New York and New England when I received a letter at a post office that I had previously arranged to visit. I still recall sitting against a tree, excited to read the words of the girl that had taken my heart… Read more »