Posts By: Dan Finnegan

Still Waiting

I’m heading out to the studio to unload the kiln this morning. The firings have become much more manageable and less stressful as I’ve come to know the character of this machine. I started making pots and birds for this firing in June.  That’s a big chunk of time, effort and (hopefully) creative energy tucked… Read more »

"The Dog Ate My Computer"

The weeks have flown by since I wrote last and life has been action packed!  Lucky for you I’ve already forgotten half of of it… I just finished loading the kiln today with a big assist from Jason. (that’s ‘hot’ Jason to you wee lasses from Scotland!) We will light up firing #11 Monday evening… Read more »


               The ART of EARTH                   Official World Premiere of a new Film by                             TIMOTHY RYAN POE                    Starring: Dan… Read more »

Big SKY Country

Night after night the sky has been amazing. My little blogging camera falls very short of my eyeballs.

Fat, Juicy Tiles

I like making almost anything out of clay, and tiles have always been a small part of the body of work I make. For many years I’ve filled all the random spaces left on a kiln shelf after the pots are set with small 2″ square tiles. And they’ve ended up in showers and kitchens… Read more »

A Tale of Two Capitols (part 1)

Last week two buyers for the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in Richmond, Virginia, visited LibertyTown with the idea of seeing more of Trista Chapman’s work in our gallery. They were enthusiastic about ‘discovering’ my birds and my functional pots as well, so Jason and I drove down yesterday for a visit. Richmond was the capitol of the Confederacy… Read more »

Spouting Off

Making a teapot that pours well is really important to me. The spout needs a large ‘collecting’ area. As you pour, a large amount of liquid is being forced into an ever narrowing spout. This creates velocity and helps the tea ‘spring’ from the spout rather than dribble. t Lots of small holes works best. The… Read more »

Join Me for a Cuppa…

A cup of tea, that is. Seriously. Anytime your in the area, I would be pleased to take a break for a cup…or two. I make these rarely, because who do you know who uses them? A word to the wise…if you are making saucers, be generous. Space is needed for a biscuit or two… Read more »


The weather continues to be curious, several climates a day but always the rain! Mold is growing everywhere and I am under assault by blood-sucking mosquitos in the studio. There seem to be particular times of day that they need to feed. Not that they can slow me down. Pots are still flowing and I… Read more »

Pots and Peeves and the Natural world

Small mugs – 3/4lb. The air is cool and clear and my energy  is high. I had a ‘stay-cation’ last week…spending a lot of my time in the studio instead at the beach house that I rented at Buxton on the Outer Banks. Hurricane Irene removed serious chunks of the rather delicate road leading there,… Read more »

Mice vs. Birds

If you click on the photo to enlarge you will see big chunks chewed from the belly of this Bird! My studio is full of clay!  When I ate meat (35 years ago) I did enjoy breast meat… Insulation layer for the salt kiln floor. I salvaged these giant soft firebrick (3″x9″ x24″) from a… Read more »

World’s Smallest Wood Fired Kiln

Nicky and Todd tending the fire Or, would you believe, a small test model of a bread oven. I did some consulting and provided a kit of materials, but Helen and Todd built this cute little ‘Cob’ bread oven last week-end and made some lovely bread this weekend after drying it out. Room for improvement,… Read more »

Stealing Back to that Same Ol’ Used To Be

I’ve been seriously obsessed with the birds for about a year and a half. I’ve made about 125 serious pieces. I’m ready to give it a rest and return to making boards and boards of useful pots. I need that satisfaction. I am planning on firing the wood kiln twice more before the year is… Read more »

Next Up- A Plague of Locust?!

In between the earthquake and the hurricane we had a crazy thunderstorm in town with winds that reached 57mph as measured at UMC. We are becoming accustomed to the fine covering of leaf and branch that is everywhere. More trees and more chimneys were damaged, but, like the photo below, we are still standing and… Read more »

20 Miles from the Epicenter!

Most people speak of the noise that came along with the earthquake…my first thought was that a big transport plane was passing overhead as it was a low deep rumble of noise. As I think back to the moment, I also realize that some of the noise was my house, creaking and groaning as it… Read more »


Let me be the first to say that the earth really does move…so does your house…I ran out as fast as I could, feeling quite sure that it was about to fall on top of me. They say it lasted 30 seconds…I couldn’t say. It was thrilling…and overwhelming to get a taste of the complete… Read more »


I am slowly getting obsessed with making books. And like usual, I’m playing with different sizes, from mini to (eventually) maxi. I made these tiny ones first, partly to work out the different elements that make up a book. My plan was to create a book as a pedestal  for the birds, using titles that… Read more »

A Little Handle Tutorial

Last week I posted photos of these serving dishes and Ron wrote asking for more details. I do love finding ways to add handles to my pots and I’m particularly interested in the seams that result by not blending them in. This type of handle exaggerates that idea. So, first make yourself a plate…or platter…or bowl. Wide… Read more »

400 Little Ideas

Who doesn’t like a rainbow? This being my 400th blog entry, it seemed appropriate. We get some fierce-some thunder and lightening storms here in steamy Ol’ Virginny and it’s not unusual to see a rainbow…even double rainbows! Always a sign to stop and take a slow breath. Or drive into a parking lot, dash out… Read more »

Green Grass, Pet Peeve and Urban Agriculture

 I couldn’t resist trying to capture the ‘green-ness’ out at the studio. This is remarkable in August. In spite of some crazy heat and humidity, we have had sufficient rain to keep the grass from turning brown. It makes it a tiny bit more bearable to be spending the summer here.  from my notebook of… Read more »

An Homage to the Other DF

A couple of cool candlesticks flanking “Doug’s Jug”( tallest is 17”) In case you think that all I do is make beaks, bird feet and turn thousands of little balls of clay into feathers, I submit the following pots to calm you down and provide some balance for anyone who has had enough of my… Read more »


If two is good then doesn’t it follow that four is better?! Still picking blackberries!

Mongolia…or Bust!

My godson, Hugh (Toff and Georgie’s son), is leaving today on a rally with a few pals for the next 10 weeks or so. They’ve bought a used ambulance, retrofitted it for the journey, raised thousands for charity and now today is the day to make it real. The lads will be writing a blog… Read more »