I’ve been getting a few hours each day in the studio and I’m all over the place with these bottles. I’ve spent 30 years making ‘domestic’ ware… a great term for pots that belong on the table and in the kitchen. Now I’m stretching out in scale while at the same time looking for new… Read more »
Posts By: Dan Finnegan
Travel Highlights (part 2)
After leaving Cape Cod I drove to Boston for a visit to the Pucker Gallery. I’ve known of the gallery for a long time, first because of Brother Thomas’ association and more lately because of Phil Rogers’ work being represented there. I’ve never seen anything like this place ! Five floors of the bests pots… Read more »
Yesterday was the first day in a while that I was able to sit at my wheel. I moved all the flatware that I’d finished onto racking and then threw some 8lb. bottles. I plan to decorate them with all of the little sprig molds I’ve been carving and I intend to make a couple… Read more »
Travel Highlights (part 1)
I’ve been settling back into life at home after a stimulating trip to Maine and back, with many stops along the way. I first visited Hollis Engley and his wife Dee on Cape Cod. I met them when I was teaching at the Torpedo Factory years ago. Hollis and I spent a lot of time… Read more »
New England Bound!
This is one of those gratuitous photos we all love to share. It’s a shot of a bookcase at home.Lots of brown pots!I’m leaving the blog-o-sphere for awhile to escape the summer heat of Virginia and visit a bunch of friends from Cape Cod to Boston to Portland to Deere Isle and back again. I… Read more »
More About Influences
German salt glaze is another of my sources and I was pretty excited about the bottle in the middle of this first photo when I unloaded my last firing. I got back to that idea this week and I’m now trying to see where I can take it. I’ve been carving all these little stamps… Read more »
Influence and Tradition
Michael Cardew attributed his influences to medieval pottery and 17th century slipware. These photos and drawings are classic examples of the curves and transitions of medieval pots. Michael brought those ideas to Winchcombe…Ray Finch once told me that he felt that his life’s work was about refining those ideas. I like to flatter myself by… Read more »
Things That Are Green
Tom O’Hara inspired my mug holder. I made the chipped mug. Few handmade mugs fit the conventional car cup holder, and as Tom insists on taking my mugs to work, he made his own. Over the years I’ve given him many of my seconds and no one is better at breaking my pots than he… Read more »
Michael Cardew – Sid Tustin – Ray Finch Shortly before Sid retired, Michael visited Winchcombe, and this photo, which represents more than 150 years of pottery making, is a rare one. Michael sold the pottery to Ray in 1946. Sid retired in 1978 after 51 years. He made a million pots in his lifetime! Below… Read more »
Carole Garman teaches art at the U. of Mary Washington here in the ‘Burg and she joined close to 400 other visitors to LibertyTown last night for our August ‘First Friday’ reception. This month’s show includes some of the finest woodworkers in our community. Carole is sitting in Larry Hinkel’s ‘Chaise Lounge’, made from old… Read more »
Money and Power
I spent some time today refining my new workspace in the new studio. I learned to throw on a Randall wheel and I’m pleased to be getting back to one. Most of my pots have been made on an old Brent CXC. I don’t have electric power out here so I run the wheel off… Read more »
Planters and Platters
A busy weekend kept me from the studio and when I returned today I’d lost interest in this coil-built planter. I was going to give it a big beefy rim, but this arched rim is just as satisfying to me and a lot quicker. It’ll be cool with the right plants. I know lots of… Read more »
A Little History
No new photos today, so here’s a little piece of my formative years….. I arrived in England and ‘The Guildhouse’ (above) in January, 1978, to teach pottery to ‘seniors’, local villagers and handicapped children. This amazing building was built by the sheer willpower of one woman named Mary Osbourne. To conform with local building codes,… Read more »
Making pots has been an obsession for me for more than 30 years and I have been pretty single-minded in that endeavor. But, now I have a proper hobby, playing poker! Every two weeks on a Thursday night we play a ‘cash’ game for about 4 hours. Funny and quick-witted, irreverent and loud with some… Read more »
Here are some bowls from my kitchen…4 from England and one from my own hands. Today is bound to be a good one…pottery all day, poker tournament tonight!
After ferocious thunderstorms last night we woke to a glorious, humidity-free day. I couldn’t resist sitting at the wheel outside. But I also wasn’t ready to give up my big coil pots, so I did a bit of both. The platters will be fun to slip and comb. I’ve been revisiting a lot of old… Read more »
Tornado Warning Tonight
I finished the second of my handbuilt pots today. This one is about 20″ wide. I’ll slip and glaze them later this week. I’ve been promising myself that I’d start throwing this week, but now I’m not sure. This has been fun. I might not decide until I get out to the studio tomorrow. Stay… Read more »
I finished listening to a fantastic book on tape today (Einstein by Walter Isaacson) while finishing up this giant coil-built teapot. He was an extraordinary fellow. And very quotable. Here’s a few… “Imagination is more important than knowledge”“Foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth”“I can’t tell you what will happen in the… Read more »
Few people enjoy picking blackberries as much as dear, sweet Ellie Bird!I helped Emily and Ellie do some picking today in the blazing sun and scored 2 quarts!! One is being turned into ice cream as we speak!
There is a nice article in the Free Lance Star today about my friend Phil. He is a brilliant artist and does things on his lathe that are hard to believe. I admire folks like him who set such high standards for themselves and their work. Plus he is a fine human being!
I stopped at Emmett Snead’s farm on my way to the studio and loaded up on tomatoes, cantaloupes and peaches. Then I spent the rest of the day coiling a couple of pots. I’ve begun the last few making cycles by handbuilding a good sized pot. A new ritual.This one is going to be a… Read more »
Like my friend, Michael Kline, I plan to start throwing outdoors for the rest of the summer. There are some sharp-eyed potters out there. My little quiz from yesterday might become an ‘irregular feature’.
It’s not unusual that LibertyTown disrupts my plans for making pots. Today was just another example. The A/C in the gallery was spewing water and had to be dealt with. A few other chores and it was time for the Sister City reception. Each summer a group of 20 or so students and adults cross… Read more »
Ever since I first visited England in 1978, I have enjoyed toast with jam and hot black tea (with milk, please) for breakfast every morning that I am able. (30 years x 365 days is a lot of toast and tea) The pots below have been my everyday companions for some time. 1 German made,… Read more »
I spent the day on the road driving to our state capitol for a meeting with staff members of the Virginia Commission for the Arts. I’m exploring the possibility of creating a non-profit to support LibertyTown and I’ve been talking to anyone who will listen at this point. I met Peggy Baggett and Cathy Wellborn… Read more »