Posts By: Dan Finnegan


I am very excited to finally share the news that I hinted at awhile back! Two dear friends of mine have spent many years overseeing the renovation of a wonderful civil war era Naval Hospital on Capital Hill in Washington, DC (our nation’s capital!). With the completion of this new community center they asked me to… Read more »

UMW Workshop!

I spent Tuesday entertaining (I hope) the students at the University of Mary Washington here in Fredericksburg. Jon McMillan (with the mug raised) took over the Ceramics department last semester and he has hit the ground running. We quickly made a connection and he is already doing great things for his students and the school…. Read more »

"the Art of Earth"-the (fake) Trailer

You asked for it, so don’t blame me!  In response to the numerous (2) requests for a movie trailer I present to you for your viewing pleasure my very first film attempts. I’m no Timothy Ryan Poe, and I’m certainly not Doug Fitch or even John Britt, but it turns out that my little blogging… Read more »

Unleash the Beer* and Popcorn!

O.K., boys and girls, at long last you can see the film that rocked Fredericksburg last autumn, in the comfort of your own home! Ryan delivered a boxful of DVD’s to LibertyTown this morning and, just in case you can’t live without it, you can contact us at LibertyTown and we will promptly send you… Read more »


Jason and I have have been pretty pleased with our tile efforts so far and I hope to take the next step with them for this firing. I started playing with books as you may remember last fall….this is the next logical step. These first two photos are the originals that we will cast in… Read more »

Kevin Crowe makes Seriously Big Pots!

We took a field trip yesterday to visit with Kevin Crowe and now we are feeling very inspired by this master of woodburning kilns and large scale pots. He and Linda are just about the warmest, sweetest folks you could spend a day with. I only wish we had more time.  Three of the young… Read more »

More Big Fun

Once I got to the studio I started to finish the pots from the week-end big-pot fiesta. I am always aware of where the widest point of the belly falls and you can see here a couple of different ideas. This little treat was waiting for me today courtesy of Emily, Ellie and Maple. They… Read more »

Winter Work

I’m working on taking the wings off into space. 5″h We’ve barely had a winter this year until this weekend, when temperatures plummeted and a dusting of snow fell, exciting the locals into another bread and milk frenzy. We are desperate to have a good ol’ panic here in Dixie. I liked the grid pattern… Read more »

118 Before (2/7/20)12

It’s been longer than I care to admit since I’ve been in the studio making pots…but, I expect to be getting plenty of quality time with my Shimpo Whisper Wheel in the days to come. When I first built my kiln I did a lot of testing…after 11 firings I have a much better understanding… Read more »

Messrs. Kline and Philbeck in the House!

On what can only be described as a whirlwind visit, LibertyTown is most pleased to announce, for one night and one night only, the highwire deco(*) troupe of Michael Kline and Ron Philbeck, lately of the northernmost of the two Carolinas. These two seasoned professionals will amaze and astound you with their feats of magic….see… Read more »

How We Move On

Maple, myself and Ellie Thanks to everyone who has reached out since Ray’s passing…he was laid to rest on Thursday amidst a multitude of family and friends. Ray’s granddaughter Clare (that’s Joe and Trudi’s girl) is compiling a number of people’s thoughts and writing on a website and she invites you to visit. Jason… Read more »

Laborare est Orare

    “To Work is to Pray”     Long before I met the man, Ray Finch’s pots changed my life. On a snowy night in January, 1978, I arrived at The Guildhouse, the craft school in the Cotswolds where I had come to teach. At this point, I had been working with clay for… Read more »

Ray Finch – Rest in Peace

I am so sorry to be telling you about the passing of one of the true giants of the pottery world. Ray passed away at the age of 97. I’ll write more about this wonderful man later. If you ever had the chance to know him you should count yourself fortunate. He changed my life…and… Read more »

Old Friends…New Look

I’m still messin’ with all these templates. The photos are an excuse to post. Ray Finch. Building the first salt kiln. 1978. Johnny Leach and Nick Rees salting the last firing in his old kiln. ‘1990’s? Young people have no respect My youngest brother, Pat and his family. Jennifer Dyson firing Johnny’s new kiln.


Uh-oh, I just discovered a way to change all kinds of things on blogger, so look out while I amuse myself. Today’s trick is picture in picture cleverness.

Filling a Void

I always try to hunker down during the holidays and I’m just now staring to feel the energy for another year. This is always a good time for sorting out the piles of stuff that accumulate during a year and I like to think that I can see some shape to the upcoming year as… Read more »


11-9-47  “It will be some time before I can find time to reply. Visitors are incessant & correspondence so heavy that I cannot get more than 1/3 of my workshop hours for actual pot making. If I send you photos & publications etc. can I depend upon their early return-some are irreplaceable & all take… Read more »


“LIDDED BOX” Cedar burl and clay. Earlier this year I began what is becoming a very fruitful project with my friend Frank. I hand him some random birds and he turns his imagination on!  “LIDDED BOX”  lump of Coal and Clay It’ difficult to see, but Frank has turned a small container into this.

A Perfect Pot

Of course there is no such thing, but it is the striving that keeps me moving forward.  18″ tall…it’s (still) my favorite from firing #11. Vase with 4 Handles… 19″ tall Detail 4 Handled Platter…16″ wide I fear that many of my friends misinterpret that fact that I’m never really satisfied with my work. When… Read more »

Ask Mr. Finnegan

I never know what the proper protocol for replying to questions left by commentators is….here are a couple of answers to recent questions… Loren asked about the tiles that we put on the bagwall: There’s no doubt that putting all the tiles on the bagwall altered the flame path as it passed through the gaps… Read more »

Pots, Pets and Poultry

Lots of big ash on a standard size teapot. A beekeeper needs to make honey pots Small teapot Standard Teapot Miss Moneypenny chillin’ They came from the woods and through the grass. Runaway chickens

A Few Useful Things

These are just a few of the 100’s of pots that were in the last firing. This is just a small (6″) ‘off-center’ cruet…but I love the gesture. Small (and tiny) flasks.

A Few Birds from #11

my favorite Inkwell detail ‘A Lurking Sympathy’  A Flock of Vases Butter Dish Pedestal Bowl w/ 4 Birds  World’s Smallest Birds…(That’s a penny in front!) Pedestal Bowl w/ 2 Birds

Selling Pots

Jeremy Gann’s “Dali” in the background. After the hectic pace leading up to a firing, sitting with a good book, cups of tea and orange flavored Kit Kats sounds mighty appealing. But, of course, that’s a fairy tale. The truth is that we went straight from firing # 11 to a complete overhaul of the… Read more »

Every Firing An Adventure

It took about 6 hours to unload the 100’s of pots that filled the two chambers. The weather was fine and so was the company. We unloaded in beautiful sunshine and there are too many good pots to take in at once! Of course, there are still great mysteries to be solved and I’ll head… Read more »